By Laura Bradley
This construction historical past of The Mother offers monstrous new insights into Bertolt Brecht's theatre and drama, his impression on political theatre, and the connection among textual content, functionality, and politico-cultural context. because the in basic terms play which Brecht staged within the Weimar Republic, in the course of his exile, and within the GDR, The Mother bargains a special chance to match his theatrical perform in contrasting settings and at assorted issues in his occupation. via distinct research of unique archival proof, Bradley indicates how Brecht grew to become way more delicate to his spectators' political opinions and cultural expectancies, even making significant tactical concessions in his 1951 creation on the Berliner Ensemble. those compromises point out that his ''mature'' staging shouldn't be considered as definitive, for it was once adapted to a different and gentle state of affairs. The Mother has appealed strongly to politically devoted theatre practitioners either in and past Germany. by way of exploiting the text's standard hybridity and the interaction among Brecht's ''epic'' and ''dramatic'' parts, administrators have interpreted it in considerably other ways. So even supposing Brecht's 1951 creation stagnated into an affirmative GDR background piece, post-Brechtian administrators have used The Mother to advertise their very own political and theatrical issues, from anti-authoritarian theatre to reflections at the legacies of kingdom Socialism. Their ideological and theatrical subversion have helped Brecht's textual content to survive the political approach that it got here to uphold.
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Extra resources for Brecht and Political Theatre: The Mother on Stage
Ibid. 268. g. ’, RF, 15 Aug. ’, RF, 24 Nov. 1929. g. , ‘Landarbeiterstreiks dehnen sich aus’, RF, 14 Jan. 1932. ’ BFA, iii. 275. ’ Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, Protokoll über die Verhandlungen des Parteitages (Berlin: J. H. W. Dietz Nachfolger, 1931), 45. From Nizhni-Novgorod to Moabit 33 had outraged the KPD because it renounced Marx’s view of the proletariat as the gravedigger of the bourgeoisie and, with it, the commitment to revolution. Thus far, then, Brecht’s changes accorded entirely with Party policy.
But the Russian setting was also designed to force unaligned spectators to recognize the similarities between the Weimar Republic and Tsarist Russia and to encourage them to see the Russian Revolution as a model for Germany. It thus functioned as a Verfremdungseffekt, even though Brecht would not use this term until 1936. Brecht’s textual changes shifted the political focus from NizhniNovgorod in 1902 to Berlin in 1932, so that Die Mutter engaged closely with the revolutionary discourse of the German Left.
Either way, the original ‘Gewichtsverschiebungen’ suggest that epic theatre relies on a complex combination of ‘epic’ and ‘dramatic’ techniques. This is particularly true of Die Mutter. 1 Dramatic Structure The programme contrasted Montage with the organic plot development, or Wachstum, of dramatic theatre, where each scene exists for the next. In Scenes 1 and 2, for instance, the songs interrupt the ﬂow of the action and provide an overt political commentary. Even so, the plot of the ﬁrst eight scenes still clearly exhibits Wachstum: Scenes 1–5 follow the preparations for the demonstration through to the reported event itself, and then Scenes 6–8 depict the immediate aftermath, as Wlassowa moves to the teacher, visits Pawel in prison, and delivers leaﬂets to agricultural workers on his behalf.