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Mother Courage and Her Children: Mutter Courage Und Ihre Kinder (Modern Classics)by Bertolt Brecht
Synopses & Reviews
Mother Courage and Her Children is widely regarded as Brecht's best work, a theatrical landmark and one of the most powerful anti-war plays in history. This unique bilingual edition allows students to compare the original German text with a translation by one of the world's leading playwrights, Tony Kushner.
In this play, a chronicle of the Thirty Years War, Mother Courage follows the armies back and forth across Europe, selling provisions and liquor from her canteen wagon. One by one she loses her children to the war but will not part with her livelihood - the wagon. The Berlin production of 1949, with Helene Weigel as Mother Courage, marked the foundation of the Berliner Ensemble.
The English translation by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner is inventive and vigorous, making Brecht's epic drama accessible to the 21st century reader. Contemporary language and humor make it the perfect English version to elucidate and compare with the original text. This edition also includes a critical introduction and commentary notes on particular words and phrases.
Mother Courage was first performed in Zurich in 1941 and is usually seen as Brecht's greatest work. Remaining a powerful indictment of war and social injustice, it is an epic drama set in the seventeenth century during the Thirty Years' War. The plot follows the resilient Mother Courage who survives by running a commissary business that profits from all sides. As the war claims all of her children in turn, the play poignantly demonstrates that no one can profit from the war without being subject to its terrible cost also.
This translation by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner is contemporary and lively, with accessible and humour language, an easy conversational flow, sympathetic, understandable characters and humor. Kushner makes a classic play which is notoriously difficult to perform both stage and reader friendly. It was staged at the National Theatre directed by Deborah Warner and starring Fiona Shaw in September 2009.
About the Author
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) is acknowledged as one of the great dramatists whose work has had a considerable influence on the theatre. His landmark plays include The Threepenny Opera, The Life of Galileo, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Translator, Tony Kushner, is best known for his two-part epic, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes and he has since emerged as one of America's most gifted playwrights. He is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, an Oscar nomination among many others.
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