By David Barnett
The Berliner Ensemble used to be based by means of Bertolt Brecht and his spouse Helene Weigel in 1949. the corporate quickly received overseas prominence, and its productions and philosophy motivated the paintings of theatre-makers worldwide. David Barnett's publication is the 1st research of the corporate in any language. according to large archival study, it uncovers Brecht's operating equipment and people of the company's most crucial administrators after his dying. The booklet considers the boon and burden of Brecht's legacy and offers new insights into battles waged backstage for the protection of the Brechtian culture. The Berliner Ensemble was once additionally the German Democratic Republic's so much prestigious cultural export, attracting recognition from the top circles of presidency, and from the Stasi, sooner than it privatised itself after German reunification in 1990. Barnett items jointly a posh background that sheds gentle on either the company's groundbreaking productions and their turbulent instances
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Extra info for A history of the Berliner Ensemble
Brecht was an artist who thrived on the energy of collaboration, and so practice was always something into which he entered with a group of like-minded, but critical, associates. Like-mindedness here suggests an interest in the social possibilities of theatre, not the character-based fare offered at most other theatres. The drive to make the creative staff productive rather than reactive extended beyond the actors. Brecht wanted to open up a dialogue about fundamental questions facing a theatre under socialism, but this could only be carried out in an atmosphere where exchange of ideas was possible.
52 Palitzsch felt that he was benefitting from Brecht’s input and that he learned a great deal through the exchange, something at odds with Lyon’s reduction of such activity to the status of ‘homework’. Once the assistants had understood the form and function of the Notate, they no longer submitted them to Brecht’s scrutiny. 53 The second set of activating tasks was work on compiling Modellb¨ucher (‘model books’). These were pictorial documentations of productions in which photographs and the text appeared alongside each other, sometimes with a commentary as to why a certain directorial decision had been taken.
See Brecht, ‘Kleines Organon’, BFA, 23: 87; BoT, pp. 246–7. 98 See Fuegi, Chaos according to Plan, p. 158. Lutz, Schauspieler, p. 120. 99 The difference between the two descriptions is telling. For Fuegi, dialectics is little more than a question of an artificially created roundness, ¨ of locating good and bad in everyone. For Rulicke, good and bad do not simply exist in conditions of mutual suppression, but are produced by forces with which the hero has to interact. This version is intimately connected to Lutz’s experience of ‘turning points’ and ‘breaks’ – change comes about through situations that transform their participants.