Bertolt Brecht (born Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht; 10 February 1898–14 August 1956) was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director. His collaboration with composer Kurt Weill in particular created popular music classics such as Mack The Knife and Alabama Song. An influential theatre practitioner of the twentieth century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble — the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht and his wife and long-time collaborator, the actress Helene Weigel — with its internationally acclaimed productions. From his late twenties Brecht remained a life-long committed Marxist who, in developing the combined theory and practice of his 'epic theatre', synthesized and extended the experiments of Erwin Piscator and Vsevolod Meyerhold to explore the theatre as a forum for political ideas and the creation of a critical aesthetics of dialectical materialism. Brecht's modernist concern with drama-as-a-medium led to his refinement of the 'epic form' of the drama. This dramatic form is related to similar modernist innovations in other arts, including the strategy of divergent chapters in James Joyce's novel Ulysses, Sergei Eisenstein's evolution of a constructivist 'montage' in the cinema, and Picasso's introduction of cubist 'collage' in the visual arts. Streamable on mistagged Bertold Brecht. Read more on...
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