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What is the differences between epic theatre (Brecht), and realistic theatre...
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Epic theater calls attention to its own staging and in many ways disrupts the illusion that is created in the theater. The plot may tend to be more episodic, with clear ruptures and visible (not hidden) scene changes. The stage design may be minimal and may include space, for example, for people to walk around with signs that challenge or even insult the audience. I remember reading in my German literature classes about signs that Brecht would use saying things such as "Don't stare so stupidly!" The net effect -- the Verfremdungseffekt, or "alienation effect" -- is to force the audience to be active thinkers, not passive recipients of a storyline.
Realistic theater generally strives to create and maintain an illusion of reality throughout the performance. The sets may be simply, but they are generally treated as real, authentic spaces (such as the living room of Ibsen's A Doll's House). Like epic theater, realistic theater may have a strong message that it wishes to convey and a political agenda of its own, but it often also tries to reach the audience through emotional connections.
EDIT: Brecht's signs (see the link below) actually said "Glotzt nicht so romantisch!" or "Don't stare so romantically." My memory's not perfect, so I thought I had better check my facts.
Posted by jk180 on January 12, 2010 at 9:27 AM (Answer #1)
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