Topics: Bertolt Brecht, Theatre, Epic theatre Pages: 4 (1624 words) Published: May 9, 2013
Tanner Gambill
The Fourth Wall

Theatre in today’s society has changed from what it was in the early days. Everyone has heard many names in the theatre industry but the most well know is William Shakespeare. Now a question that is asked frequently is who had the most influence in today’s theatre? Bertolt Brecht is another figure in theatre history, whose name is mentioned as being influential also. He has proven time and time again as an influential person for modern theatre, below in this paper are just a couple of his methods that deserve to be put in the spotlight. Bertolt Brecht started off with the studying of Naturalism and Expressionism. Through his study of Naturalism, he gave the Naturalistic theatre social influence. While studying Expressionism he began on his development of the epic theatre. Epic theatre uses narrative, non-climactic scenes, montage, curves, and scenes that jump (Basuki 143). In Carol Martin’s article Brecht, Feminism, and Chinese Theatre it is argued that Chinese acting was already well done by the Chinese, especially Chinese women. He spelled out his theory of the alienation effect after he saw a demonstration of Chinese acting. Brecht’s twist on acting, opened a space in which the actor could act along with the spectators about the character and the actions in the performance, which is known as the fourth wall. Now Chinese actors do not pretend that there is a fourth wall. While Brecht’s tried to change the form of Chinese acting he ignored two of his own main concerns: understanding the historical conditions that made Chinese acting what it is, and that the actor should quote character in the play. Chinese theatre did include the theory of the fourth wall, as they were one of the first to use it in a different culture. Now we here we will look at another example of Brecht attempting to use his theories and methods of acting in India. As the author stated in Indigenizing the Brechtian Theory of...
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