Savannah's Theatre Blog

A Little Bit on Epic Theatre

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on February 27, 2011

Epic Theatre

Epic theatre’s main purpose was to educate. It was to try and make a difference by allowing their audience to absorb a message and then act upon it. Piscator (German director) and Brecht were both interested in creating a ‘strictly intellectual’ (Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980: 210) environment in which to deliver a message.

However, Piscator did not want to have no emotion involved and tried to combine fiction and real like whereas Brecht was convinced that total alienation was the way to make a difference.

Saying this, Brecht’s plays were not just full of gloom. He incorporated comedy to portray humans finding light in a horribly ‘corrupt capitalist world’ (Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980: 213).


The idea of alienation was to keep the audience objective and thereby allowing them to learn and, hopefully, act upon what they have learnt. This was achieved by breaking down the fourth wall by allowing the illusion of a ‘make-believe’ play to be destroyed. This was done by changing scenery/the set in full view of the audience, seeing the musicians on stage, etc.


– Crawford, Hurst, Lugering, Wimmer, 1980, Acting in Person and in Style in Australia, not sure what edition (Ms Flood – please can you help?), McGraw-Hill Australia, Australia


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