Grade 11 Students Explore Epic Theatre

The grade 11 theatre class at Tashkent International School will present portions of Bertolt Brecht’s The Measures Taken on Friday, February 27 at 4:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre. This is non-ticked event, open to the entire TIS parent and student community.

In the grade 11 theater class, students have been exploring and experimenting with Brecht, an epic theater practitioner who was a playwright, poet and theatre maker from Germany during World War I and World War 2. During the mid-20th century, Brecht and fellow theater makers such as Erwin Piscator and Vsevolod Meyerhold were well-known for their contributions to the theatrical movement known as “Epic Theater.”

Epic Theatre is didactic, which means it intends to teach something and in particular, has moral instruction as its central motivation. This theory and practice was an attempt to make political and social change through theatre in response to the political unrest that characterized Europe at that time.

In the grade 11 theatre class, students have been working on a director’s vision and performance of one of Brecht’s Lehrstück, The Measures Taken. Lehrstück is German for  “teaching-play” because Brecht wanted the audience not only to passively sit and watch but also to be engaged.

TIS students have researched extensively the techniques of Epic Theatre and have applied them to The Measures Taken. Two of the conventions are Verfremdungseffekt and Gestus. Verfremdungseffekt is commonly known as “alienation” and it focuses on distancing the actor from the audience and on the emotional disengagement of the audience from the characters. For Brecht’s time, this was a very progressive way of thinking since most theatre was based on Aristotelian theatre, which he believed “presented an hallucinatory vision of life.”

An extract of The Measures Taken will be performed on Friday, February 27 at 4:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre. Everyone is welcome. This is non-ticketed event.



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