THE BADEN-BADEN LESSON PLAY ON ACQUIESCENCE
by Bertolt Brecht
translated from the German by Justin Vicari
27 pages, paper, staple bound. Cover photo by Brett Hendricks.
Toad Press, 2009, $5.00
& add this book to your Goodreads list, here.
One of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century, BERTOLT BRECHT was born in Augsburg, Germany, in 1898. He conceived a style called Epic Theater, using didactic placards, songs, slogans, projections, masks, and other devices to engage the audience in thinking about his increasingly political subject matter. In 1927, he collaborated with composer Kurt Weill on The Threepenny Opera. Extremely popular, the work was both harshly cynical and oddly romantic, with distinct undercurrents of anti-capitalist satire.
In 1933, Brecht left Nazi Germany and moved to Paris, where he and Weill staged their final collaboration, The Seven Deadly Sins. Brecht soon emigrated to Los Angeles to work as a screenwriter, but he was largely unsuccessful and summarized his Hollywood years in a short poem: “Every morning, to earn my bread, / I go to the market where lies are bought and sold. / I take my place among the sellers.” Nevertheless, he wrote some of his best plays during his period of exile, including Mother Courage and Her Children and Galileo.
After being targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, Brecht chose to return to East Berlin, where he continued to write and stage plays until his death in 1956.