By David Barnett

The Berliner Ensemble used to be based via Bertolt Brecht and his spouse Helene Weigel in 1949. the corporate quickly won overseas prominence, and its productions and philosophy motivated the paintings of theatre-makers around the globe. David Barnett's ebook is the 1st examine of the corporate in any language. in keeping with broad archival learn, it uncovers Brecht's operating tools and people of the company's most vital administrators after his dying. The publication considers the boon and burden of Brecht's legacy and offers new insights into battles waged backstage for the upkeep of the Brechtian culture. The Berliner Ensemble used to be additionally the German Democratic Republic's such a lot prestigious cultural export, attracting awareness from the top circles of presidency, and from the Stasi, ahead of it privatised itself after German reunification in 1990. Barnett items jointly a fancy background that sheds mild on either the company's groundbreaking productions and their turbulent occasions

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Actor Angelika Hurwicz noted that the first impression she got of Brecht’s work appeared to be entirely one of a normal director, different from conventional direction only perhaps in his greater patience. 26 This almost imperceptible shift of accent in direction initially passed Lutz by, too, as she recorded in a letter home to her parents, written a couple of days after rehearsals started for Puntila. She describes rehearsal methods that would endure at the BE: of starting with setting out the actors on stage and trying several reconfigurations, of actors being encouraged to make suggestions27 (something she found both surprising and welcome).

Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2000), p. 31. 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.

230–2), for a schematic, fifteen-point list of elements that comprised the realization process at the BE. Brecht, ‘[Die Auswahl der einzelnen Elemente]’, BFA, 22: 253. 32 A History of the Berliner Ensemble ‘merken’, ‘to notice’ – and so the details were not in some way minor or accidental, but significant and designed to catch the spectator’s eye. 94 Brecht picked out only the most important aspects of a relationship, something rooted in his emphasis on clearly showing Gestus and Haltung. 95 An excess of meaning had the same effect as a dearth – the character and its relationships became unreadable.

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A history of the Berliner Ensemble by David Barnett
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