Brecht is probably one of the most misunderstood (and unnecessarily feared) figures of the modern theater, while at the same time being without a doubt one of the most important figures in theater history.
The cast and director of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui have offered up a series of very short (each 1 minute) videos explaining the show, the style, and importance of this play means to them.
Please also give this excellent short (6m) video from the National Theatre on Brecht’s work a watch. It includes clips of Tony Award-winner Tony Kushner. “Art is not a mirror which to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it … the question of what artistic devices we should choose is simply the question of how we can get our audiences to become socially active …” – Bertolt Brecht.
“[Brecht is talking about] the essential dialectic of the theater — which is that it creates an illusion that is both effective and not at the same time — that it asks you to believe deeply in something that you are absolutely aware is artificial and fake, and that you hold both of those feelings and awareness — belief and disbelief — in the same place, in the same impossible tension, and [you] start to understand [he means] the double nature of reality.” – Tony Kushner.
For a more in-depth crash-course into Brecht’s work and style, we also have you covered: