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11DRA - Bertolt Brecht: Home

This guide contains resources related to the study of playwright Bertolt Brecht.

Plays by Bertolt Brecht

This is a list of every play produced from Brecht's work. They are listed by the date that they first appeared in the theatre.

  • "Drums in the Night" (1922)
  • "Baal" (1923)
  • "In the Jungle of the Cities" (1923)
  • "Edward II" (1924)
  • "The Elephant Calf" (1925)
  • "Man Equals Man" (1926)
  • "The Threepenny Opera" (1928)
  • "Happy End" (1929)
  • "Lindbergh's Flight" (1929)
  • "He Who Says Yes" (1929)
  • "Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny" (1930)
  • "He Who Says No" (1930)
  • "The Measures Taken" (1930)
  • "The Mother" (1932)
  • "The Seven Deadly Sins" (1933)
  • "The Roundheads and the Peakheads" (1936)
  • "The Exception and the Rule" (1936)
  • "Fear and Misery of the Third Reich" (1938)
  • "Señora Carrara's Rifles" (1937)
  • "The Trial of Lucullus" (1939)
  • "Mother Courage and Her Children" (1941)
  • "Mr. Puntila and His Man Matti" (1941)
  • "Life of Galileo" (1943)
  • "The Good Person of Sezuan" (1943)
  • "Schweik in the Second World War" (1944)
  • "The Visions of Simone Machard" (1944)
  • "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" (1945)
  • "The Days of the Commune" (1949)
  • "The Tutor" (1950)
  • "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" (1958)
  • "Saint Joan of the Stockyards" (1959)

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About Bertolt Brecht

Born: February 10, 1898 in Augsburg, Germany
Died: August 14, 1956 in East Berlin, Germany
Other Names: Brecht, Eugen Berthold Friedrich; Brecht, Eugen Bertolt Friedrich; Brecht, Bertolt Eugen Friedrich
Nationality: German
Occupation: Playwright

Bertolt Brecht was a German poet and playwright who wrote and produced plays that he hoped would instruct as well as entertain. His goal was to make audiences think about what might be, rather than what was. In 1926 he named his experiments "epic theater." His work, influenced by German social theorist Karl Marx, was often violent and chaotic. It became known throughout the world and would influence generations of playwrights.

"Bertolt Brecht." In UXL Biographies. Detroit: UXL, 2011. Research in Context.

Brecht, Bertolt [Image]. Encyclopædia Britannica. 

Brecht's Epic Theatre

By 1926 Brecht was achieving widespread acclaim. He strengthened his commitment to producing plays that educated first, and earned money second. To this end, he boldly used language that had not been part of the theater before. In fact, almost every aspect of his productions were positioned to provoke thought in audiences. His complex works often sent theatergoers a disguised message. Sometimes one actor played several different roles. Sometimes silence prevailed onstage. The aim was to take observers out of the realm of reality and place them in a position in which they would be forced to contemplate a better society; his theories stressed the arousal of a critical response by alienating the spectator from the staged action. Brecht had been working toward this technique all his writing life. He gave it the name "epic theater."

Brecht's epic theater was often violent, chaotic, and confusing. In the plays that reached this level, he was prefiguring the Theater of the Absurd, in which human experience is seen as without purpose.

"Bertolt Brecht." In UXL Biographies. Detroit: UXL, 2011. Research in Context

Image retrieved from