Through her skillful use of Brechtian
techniques, however, Churchill encourages her audiences to seek alternatives beyond the play's representational frame.
It is a highly Brechtian
construction, although one which, in the best tradition of Brecht, allows equal space for identification and critical distance.
One result of such an inquiry, and one which is persuasive on a number of counts is that Major's texts finally cannot avoid becoming more mw material for the culture industry - a point made clear by the dialogue carried out between Benjamin and Adorno over Brechtian
theater, which I will discuss shortly.
Calico concludes the book with a demonstration that Regietheater, as practiced by contemporary Europe's young (and middle-aged) enfants terribles when they direct operas belonging to the central canon from Mozart to Puccini, is indebted to the basic Brechtian
concept of Verfremdung (which she translates well as "estrangement"), like Brecht himself, these directors seek to subject an audience which is already familiar with the music to what Brecht termed "pleasurable learning,' when the happenings on the stage (and, in the exemplary case of Peter Sellars' Mozart/Da Ponte productions, even the surtitles) are ar odds with the utterly faithful realization of the original Italian text and the music (154).
She is able to locate a much earlier date for the start of progressive theater in South Africa than is usually assumed (the 1920s and 1930s), and she then shows the way that in the 1970s and 1980s Brechtian
theories and practices began to have an impact on left-wing theater activists such as the Junction Avenue Theatre Company in Johannesburg.
From its whacked-out premise to its Brechtian
conventions to all those popular Broadway hits it's spoofing, ``Urinetown: The Musical'' is indeed a unique animal.
Kift's use of certain Brechtian
techniques-a narrator, music, distanciation- allows him not only to flesh out the trauma of the victims (of the 140,000 prisoners who entered the camp, only 19,000 survived), but also to underscore their fortitude and love of the arts in the face of death.
Here, in a fractured narrative that blends Ballardian sci-fi, soap opera, eighteenth-century theater, and Brechtian
alienation, is an allegory of an underclass literally left to drown.
The other Brechtian
element - the brief songs between scenes - are generally unobtrusive but Andy Hockley and Natasha Lewis add some welcome theatricality with their one big number.
The "interventionist strain" by contrast, employs more recognizably Brechtian
distancing effects to urge audience members to consider the possibilities of a world unlike the one they inhabit, and often marking that difference by means of performance and production choices--such as song, direct address, episodic structure, surrealist design, and external characterization--that disrupt the appearance of verisimilitude.
Still, ``Self Defense'' is interested in constructing a mini Brechtian
circus out of the people who are circling the condemned woman's orbit.
Some important general considerations, however, are missing, among them the relative isolation of Latvian theater from the turbulent currents-not always mainstream-that swept the Western world in the 1950s, such as the Theater of the Absurd, the Brechtian
epic theater, and their derivatives.