By David Barnett

The Berliner Ensemble was once based by way of Bertolt Brecht and his spouse Helene Weigel in 1949. the corporate quickly won overseas prominence, and its productions and philosophy stimulated the paintings of theatre-makers all over the world. David Barnett's e-book is the 1st learn of the corporate in any language. in accordance with vast archival study, it uncovers Brecht's operating tools and people of the company's most vital administrators after his dying. The publication considers the boon and burden of Brecht's legacy and offers new insights into battles waged behind the curtain for the renovation of the Brechtian culture. The Berliner Ensemble was once additionally the German Democratic Republic's such a lot prestigious cultural export, attracting recognition from the top circles of presidency, and from the Stasi, prior to it privatised itself after German reunification in 1990. Barnett items jointly a posh background that sheds gentle on either the company's groundbreaking productions and their turbulent instances

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As Peter W. ), Brechts Lai-Tu, p. 232. ¨ Angela Kuberski, ‘Brechts Modellbucher und die Folgen’, notate, 6 (1984), pp. 4–5 (5). ¨ ein Genie’, Theater der Zeit, 2 See Palitzsch, in Stephan Suschke, ‘Ich hielt mich nie fur (2002), pp. 30–2 (31). Uta Birnbaum, unpublished interview with the author, 28 August 2010. Manfred Wekwerth, unpublished interview with the author, 14 June 2011. Palitzsch, in Peter Iden, Peter Palitzsch: Theater muß die Welt ver¨andern (Berlin: Henschel, 2005), p. 55. ), Brecht im Gespr¨ach, pp.

These formed a part of the BE’s quality control mechanism, a way of ensuring that productions retained their freshness over their often lengthy runs. While I will discuss questions of monitoring quality on pp. 157–60, Chapter 5, I will merely note here that the assistants’ role in writing such a report was to use their observational skills to identify divergences from the usual performance and suggest modifications that could add to or bring out more from the production. The reports were primarily descriptive, although assistants were encouraged to evaluate what they had seen as well.

69. An opportunity to establish a new type of theatre 31 Brecht’s rehearsal and directing practices Brecht’s theoretical positions affected the way he conducted rehearsals as director. I have already noted how he promoted the practice of actors making ‘offers’ as a way of engaging the ensemble in the more inclusive and active staging of plays (see pp. 12–13), but this was just one, albeit central, part of his approach to directing. Brecht’s redefinition of the relationship between the director and the actor re-echoed through the rehearsal process as a whole.

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