By Lara Stevens

Examining the ways that modern Western theatre protests opposed to the ‘War on Terror’, this booklet analyses six twenty-first century performs that reply to the post-9/11 army operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. The performs are written via one of the most major writers of this century and the final together with Elfriede Jelinek, Caryl Churchill, Hélène Cixous and Tony Kushner.

Anti-war Theatre After Brecht grapples with the matter of the way to make theatre that protests the guidelines of democratically elected Western governments in a post-Marxist period. It indicates how the web has develop into a key device for disseminating anti-war play texts and the way on-line social media boards are altering conventional dramatic aesthetics and broadening possibilities for spectator entry, engagement and interplay with a piece and the political possible choices it places ahead.

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Extra resources for Anti-War Theatre After Brecht: Dialectical Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century

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This tension, embedded at the level of the formal structure and organization of Brecht’s plays, provides a means by which to present society and historical development as dialectical and contradictory. BRECHT AND MARXISM Brecht’s aesthetic is well understood to share the Marxist desire to expose capitalist ideology and the socio-economic conditions that it generates, using a dramaturgical form modelled on Hegelian-inflected Marxist dialectics (Willett 1967; Barthes 1977; Wekwerth 2011). However, Brecht’s relationship to the Communist Parties and revolutionary actions of his time is contentious.

After World War Two, Brecht openly declares his intention to transform theatre as part of the reconstruction of post-Nazi Germany (Brecht 1964, 240). This increased urgency to use theatre as a tool for political intervention and change in the post-war period can be explained by Brecht’s life experiences of being forced to flee the Nazis, Stalin, McCarthy and the HUAC trials in America (where he was called upon to testify against Communists), as well as living in precarious East Berlin after World War Two.

In an undated draft of an essay entitled the ‘Special characteristics of the Berliner Ensemble’, Brecht sets out how the theatre should incorporate and reflect a Marxist world view. In the essay Brecht claims that the theatre must be realistic and representative of the collective life of people, that human nature must be shown as changeable, that theatrical representations must be dialectical-materialist in character and that dialectical materialism be brought to consciousness in the realm of art and made pleasurable (Brooker 1988, 24).

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