By David Barnett

The Berliner Ensemble was once based by means of Bertolt Brecht and his spouse Helene Weigel in 1949. the corporate quickly received foreign prominence, and its productions and philosophy prompted the paintings of theatre-makers worldwide. David Barnett's e-book is the 1st learn of the corporate in any language. in accordance with broad archival learn, it uncovers Brecht's operating equipment and people of the company's most vital administrators after his dying. The ebook considers the boon and burden of Brecht's legacy and gives 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 so much prestigious cultural export, attracting consciousness from the top circles of presidency, and from the Stasi, ahead of it privatised itself after German reunification in 1990. Barnett items jointly a fancy historical past that sheds mild on either the company's groundbreaking productions and their turbulent instances

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See Monk, Regie Egon Monk, p. 87. ), Theater¨ arbeit: 6 Auffuhrungen des Berliner Ensembles (Dresden: Dresdner Verlag, 1952), p. 343; BoP, p. 237. 22 A History of the Berliner Ensemble and the choice of photographs to be included in any one Modellbuch was enormous. Berlau recounts how Palitzsch pored over a large selection for hours, evaluating their relative merits. 55 Brecht regarded not only a keen sense of observation, but also vast reserves of commitment essential qualities in an assistant.

Carl Weber offers a useful definition: ‘“Fable” was, of course, Brecht’s preferred term designating a play’s plot as it is retold on stage from a specific point of view . . a fable was always to reveal the contradictions of a 76 For a more detailed explanation of the terms, together with practical examples, see David Barnett, Brecht in Practice: Theatre, Theory and Performance (London: Bloomsbury, 2014). 77 The Fabel (which I will keep in German so as to avoid the misleading associations of the English ‘fable’) is thus an interpreted extrapolation taken from the plot of any given play.

Analysis, which was unquestionably important at the BE, was perhaps deemed a skill that could not be developed without a good eye. The unconventional appointment process was partly concerned with identifying talent, but talent as defined from Brecht’s perspective. 46 Brecht’s position, referred to earlier, that talent could not be taught, but only set tasks, suggests that he was keen to harness diligence and enthusiasm, and channel them into his own theatrical enterprise through exercises concerning the particular features of a given theatrical project.

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