Political Theatre Essay

2960 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 12 Pages
‘Dismantling the traditional naturalistic theatre, with its illusion of reality, Brecht produced a new kind of drama based on a critique of the ideological assumptions of bourgeois theatre’. (Terry Eagleton, Marxism and Literary Criticism)
Referring to ONE play from the earlier part of the ‘Theatre & Politics’ section of the unit, and to ONE play from the ‘New Perspectives’ section, explain how the relationship between theatre and politics has evolved. In your response you should refer to specific examples from within the plays, and to at least TWO critical/theoretical readings from within the anthology.

The drama of revolution is a political text through and through, but it cannot separate the political from the theatre; the drama of
…show more content…
Instead Brecht wanted a ‘montage’, in which each scene has a self-contained life, as he wants us the viewer, to experience the story properly. Brecht implies there is not an ending but a continuing story, for human relations do not just ‘end’ – opinions and judgements are formed and revised. He reinforces that he wanted the spectator ‘to observe the mechanism of a theatre event like the mechanism of a car’. Brecht wanted his drama/theatre to ‘historicize’ the events portrayed –to invite spectators to judge a social system from another social system’s point of view. (Leech 2004: 117)
The legacy of Bertolt Brecht found its way into subsequent examples of political theatre. The Reader’s Companion To American History explains: “The cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s led to a new demand in some quarters that theater be a vanguard of reform. Off- and off-off-Broadway groups served up caustic political commentary, and groups such as Julian Beck's Living Theatre combined radical politics with a revolutionary breakdown of the boundary between spectator and performer.

Bertolt Brecht’s view on the function of theatre was that it should provoke its audience to change. The epic theatre, was a main inspiration for Brecht’s theory on the social function of theatre. ‘Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction’ (Routledge, 2010: 475) clearly outlines his understanding of what epic theatre is and how it should be used in practice. Brecht explains what makes the

Related Documents