Bertolt Brecht's epic theater: theory and practice

Gretchen O'Connor


It would appear that Brecht was doomed to fail as a playwright. This paper is an investigation of his stage theory and the skill with which he applied it to nine of his plays. A key question to be kept in mind is whether unsuccessful productions of his plays are caused by a weakness in the plays themselves or whether the failures could be attributed to incorrect direction and an unfavorable attitude in the audience. It would be impossible in such a limited project to determine Brecht's influence on his contemporary playwrights, but it is hoped that some sort of conclusion can be reached on the worth of Brecht's writing in its own right. Was he successfully able to put his theory into practice?