Teaching Brecht: a Twenty-first Century Curriculum

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In this article the author suggests how a course in Bertolt Brecht’s methods might be created for undergraduate university students. It is proposed that the students approach the acting of Brecht scenes using a combination of “alienated acting” or third person commentary, and Stanislavski training, creating a veneer of “distance” between actor and subject. The concept of gestus is explored using Keith Johnstone’s Status work. The staging of scenes is imagined by having the students divide important moments into frozen tableaux which together can reveal the story and create meaning using the “signs” of performance. The students are also asked to write fables for their scenes using past tense third person narrative, descriptive language and character thought. The benefit of such a course comes when the students apply these principles not only to Brecht’s plays but to other work they may do in acting or directing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
JournalThe Brecht Yearbook/International Brecht Society/University of Wisconsin Press
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


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