Minecraft Adventures B2G1 Free

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | August 14, 2015

    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: IMG The Blind Spot of United States History

    The most frequent question readers ask about An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States is "Why hasn't this book been written before?" I'm... Continue »
    1. $11.20 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
12 Remote Warehouse Drama- History and Criticism

Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic


Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This volume offers a major selection of Bertolt Brecht's groundbreaking critical writing. Here, arranged in chronological order, are essays from 1918 to 1956, in which Brecht explores his definition of the Epic Theatre and his theory of alienation-effects in directing, acting, and writing, and discusses, among other works, The Threepenny Opera, Mahagonny, Mother Courage, Puntila, and Galileo. Also included is "A Short Organum for the Theatre," Brecht's most complete exposition of his revolutionary philosophy of drama.

Translated and edited by John Willett, Brecht on Theater is essential to an understanding of one of the twentieth century's most influential dramatists.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 284-285) and index.

About the Author

Bertolt Bertolt (1898-1956) was the most influential German dramatist and theoretician of the theater in the 20th century. Also a poet of formidable gifts and considerable output, Brecht first attracted attention in the Berlin of the 1920s as the author of provocative plays that challenged the tenets of traditional theater. Forced to flee Germany in 1933 because of his leftist political beliefs and opposition to the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, Brecht and his family spent 14 years in exile in Scandinavia and the United States. Although he tried hard to become established in the United States, Brecht failed to make a breakthrough either as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, California, or as a playwright on Broadway. Two years later he moved to East Berlin and remained there until his death. In the 1950s he became an internationally acclaimed playwright and director through productions of his plays by the Berliner Ensemble, a company based in East Berlin and headed by his wife, actor Helene Weigel.

John Willett (1917-2002) was a noted scholar, author and translator. From the outset he was the prime editor and translator (with Ralph Manheim and others) behind Brecht in English. He was involved in the planning and translation of the programme book for the Berliner Ensemble's celebrated first visit to London in 1956 (the year of Brecht's own death); in 1959 he published the first general study in any language, The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht; he translated, edited and introduced the enormously influential Brecht on Theatre (1964); and he was a founding member of the International Brecht Society and sometime editor of its Yearbook.

Table of Contents


PART ONE 1918-1982

Frank Wedekind

A Reckoning

Emphasis on Sport

Three Cheers for Shaw

Conversation with Bert Brecht

A Radio Speech

Shouldn't we Abolish Aesthetics?

The Epic Theatre and its Difficulties

Last Stage: Oedipus

A Dialogue about Acting

On Form and Subject-Matter

An Example of Paedagogics

The Modem Theatre is the Epic Theatre

The Literarization of the Theatre

The Film, the Novel and Epic Theatre

The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication

The Question of Criteria for Judging Acting

Indirect Impact of the Epic Theatre

PART TWO 1988-1947

Interview with an Exile

Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction

The German Drama: pre-Hitler

Criticism of the New York Production of Die Mutter

On the Use of Music in an Epic Theatre

Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting

Notes to Die Rundköpfe und die Spitzköpfe

On Gestic Music

The Popular and the Realistic


On Rhymeless Verse with Irregular Rhythms

The Street Scene

On Experimental Theatre

New Technique of Acting

Two Essays on Unprofessional Acting

Notes on the Folk Play

Alienation Effects in the Narrative Pictures of the Elder Brueghel

A Little Private Tuition for my Friend Max Gorelik

Building up a Part: Laughton's Galileo

'Der Messingkauf': an editorial note

PART THREE 1947-1948

A Short Organum for the Theatre

PART FOUR 1948-1966

Masterful Treatment of a Model

From the Mother Courage Model

Does Use of the Model Restrict the Artist's Freedom?

Formal Problems Arising from the Theatre's New Content

Stage Design for the Epic Theatre

From a Letter to an Actor

Some of the Things that can be Learnt from Stanislavsky

Theaterarbeit: an editorial note

Notes on Erwin Strittmatter's Play Katzgraben

Study of the First Scene of Shakespeare's Coriolanus

Cultural Policy and Academy of Arts

Conversation about being Forced into Empathy

Classical Status as an Inhibiting Factor

Can the Present-day World be Reproduced by Means of Theatre?

Appendices to the 'Short Organum'

'Dialectics in the Theatre': an editorial note

Our London Season

Other English Translations


Product Details

Willett, John
Brecht, Bertolt
Willett, John
Giles, Steve
Silberman, Marc
Kuhn, Tom
Willett, John
Hill & Wang
New York :
History & Criticism *
20th century
History and criticism
Theater - History & Criticism
Theater - Aesthetics
Drama -- History and criticism.
Edition Number:
2nd ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.25 x 5.50 in

Other books you might like

  1. Theater & Its Double Used Trade Paper $4.95
  2. Theatre of the Oppressed Used Trade Paper $10.95
  3. The Threepenny Opera Used Mass Market $2.95
  4. Far Away (Nick Hern Books Drama... Used Trade Paper $5.50
  5. The Art of Stillness: The Theater... Used Trade Paper $10.50
  6. The Fervent Years: The Group Theatre... Used Trade Paper $10.00

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » General
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » History and Theory
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Plays
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Production » General

Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$21.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Hill & Wang - English 9780809005420 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.