More About Brecht

Lesson 2: More About Brecht



TH: Pr4.1.III a. Apply reliable research of directors’ styles to form unique choices for a directorial concept in a drama/theatre work.


Objective: Students will demonstrate an understanding of basic Brechtian theatre techniques by creating a Brechtian staging of a children’s story.


Materials needed: Paper for placards.


Hook: Communicating Emotions- Students pair up. Pick one person to be person A and one person to be person B. Each student will pick an emotion without telling their partner what their emotion is. Assume body positions and facial expressions that communicate love, respect, disbelief, regret, admiration and intimidation. One person in the pair exhibits the giving of the emotion and the other, the receiving of it. First have person A give and person B receive. Then switch. At first, have all of the students practice this at the same time. After everyone has had practice, pick a couple groups to demonstrate their giving and receiving in front of everyone.

(This is a Brechtian exercise that trains actors to use gesture and facial expression.)


Learning Plan:

Step 1: Complete Brechtian Fairy tales- Complete our Brechtian story performances. Students still need to add an element of sound and placards. In Brechtian theatre, music was used to express the play’s themes. But rather than being used to intensify emotion (like in a modern day musical), Brechtian theatre was mean to neutralize it.


In Brechtian theatre, placards are used to tell the audience what is happening in a scene. Get out pen and paper and create paper signs that tell the audience what happens in each of your scenes. This allows the audience to view your performance from an intellectual level, rather than an emotional one. Give the students a few minutes to incorporate this.


Step 2: Perform-Have each group perform. What ways did you find to make your story fresh, strange, and engaging to the audience? What was this experience like? Are there any elements you would want to try again? Discuss with your group.