Jakub Kindl Jersey  Darius Slayton Womens Jersey  What is Epic Theatre | PAH

What is Epic Theatre

Before one can fully comprehend what Epic Theatre is, it is necessary to understand the period of Realism.

During the 1800s the philosophy of Positivism gained a lot of ground. This philosophy was based on the concept of the five senses. Only objects that can be experienced with your five senses existed. Spirituality got left behind. Where plays about heroes, kings and gods were very typical during the previous theatre time periods, writers now started to concentrate on the tragedy of the common man. In other words, every day people. Inside the theatre a ‘slice of life’ was recreated. Scenery was very realistic, all technical aspects were hidden from the audience and the audience was suppose to believe they are watching a piece of real life happening.

Bertolt Brecht, the playwright and Irwin Piscator, a Marxist director are perceived to be the initiators of Epic Theatre. Brecht was in the medic corpse during World War 1 and realized that the science they believed in so much is killing their people now. With automatic weapons being used for the first time, more than 15 million people were killed in this war. Brecht lost his belief in science and realism.

Epic Theatre was born. Brecht’s main goal was to move away from Realism. Where in Realism, plays happened over a very short period of time to create the illusion of reality; Brecht had his plays happening over months and even years. In Caucasian Chalk Circle, the events happen over more than two years. No attempt was made to let the audience believe they are watching a ‘slice of life’.

Where plays of Realism followed a linear structure and events happened in a chronological order, Epic plays normally had an episodic structure. In an episodic structure events do not happen chronological and there can be big jumps in time. In Caucasian Chalk Circle’s first scene the Grand Duke flees and the governor got killed. Until close to the end of the play, nobody knows what happened to the Grand Duke and only finds out when the play returns to that specific night.

He never wanted his audience to forget that they are in a theatre and made use of a technique called “Alienation” to ensure this. He used this in the dialogue and characters of his plays. His plays had many characters where most were known by their occupation rather than their names, for example, in Caucasian Chalk Circle, characters were called ‘The Kitchen Maid, Cook, Ironshirt (soldier) etc. Characters would sometimes refer to themselves in the third person. Grusha would for instance call Simon the soldier instead of Simon.

During performances Brecht also defied the idea of Realism and left theatrical devices open for the audience to see. No light or sound devices were hidden. He seldom used pure white light and left the auditorium lights on during a performance. Where Realism never had scene changes that could break the illusion of real life happening, in Epic Theatre scene changes happened in full view of the audience. Using a narrator that remained on stage was a useful Alienation technique.

Another characteristic of Epic Theatre was “Historification”. This means that stories from the past were taken and turned into a play. Brecht believed theatre should be educational and was a follower of the philosophy of Expressionism which main point was cultural renewal. Brecht believed his audience should learn from what happened in the past and take that knowledge to change their own world.

It is widely believed that Epic Theatre had a vast influence on modern theatre, where a combination of styles and influences from different time periods are evident.

Irv Smith Jr. Authentic Jersey Pavol Demitra Authentic Jersey  https://www.customjerseysmaker.com/ https://www.customfootballjerseys.net/