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In Brecht’s essay The Modern Theatre is the Epic Theatre, he stated that his theatre work is based on a “radical separation of the elements of production.” Theories The Alienation Effect - technique which distances the audience from an emotional connection with the play through abrasive reminders of the artificiality of the theatrical performance.
Another epic feature that we find in Brecht’s play is the presence of the songs. Mother Courage tries to teach her children the facts of life through songs, this representing a way of bonding with them, apart from the cart.
In an essay on Brecht’s epic theatre, Walter Benjamin explains the quotable property of Gestus: “just as a particular sentence or paragraph can be quoted to point out the thrust or message of a text, a particular gestural detail of an actor’s performance should be quotable, demonstrating the social Gestus of his performance, of the scene, or even the play” (see (4), p. 42).
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Epic Literature is realism rather than illusion so lacks subtlety and nuance. It tends to be direct, explicit, overt, didactic. A good example would be Brechtian Epic Theatre which is different; dissident, divergent, variant, resistant, subversive. It is the Theatre of Realism and Intellectualism.
A Basic Model for an Epic Theatre Bertolt Brecht translated by John Willet In the decade and a half that followed the World War (WWI) a comparatively new way of acting was tried out in a number of German theatres. Its qualities of clear description and reporting and its use of choruses and projections as a means of commentary earned it the name.
Performing Brecht By Margaret Eddershaw - Performing Arts - 1996 - 200 pages Performing Brecht is an unprecedented history of the productions of Brecht's plays in Britain over forty years Brecht Sourcebook By Henry Bial, Carol Martin - 2000 - 256 pages These essays are an ideal companion to Brecht's plays Limited preview - Table of Contents - About this book.