Along with Constantin Stanislavski, Bertolt Brecht was one of the two most influential figures of 20th-century theatre and the most significant practitioner since World War II. Brecht’s theories for the stage, including his well-known epic theatre form, made him a force to be reckoned with.
Although it is well documented Bertolt Brecht had a team of workers around him to ease the load, his creative output was nothing short of prolific. He was a theorist, poet, playwright, and above all a practitioner who painstakingly applied his theories to the works of one of the great theatre companies of the world, the Berliner Ensemble, who demonstrated features of epic theatre in their performances.
Unlike Jerzy Grotowski, Brecht preferred to demonstrate his concepts in performances instead of acting exercises. Unlike Antonin Artaud, Brecht’s ideas were concrete and translatable for actors for generations to come. A staunch Marxist, Brecht’s plays often had a political and social message for those viewing them. Accordingly, his works included songs that drummed home the message of the play, storytellers, narrators, projection, placards, and actors directly addressing the audience.