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MCC Daily Tribune Archive

The Sixth Act Presents "Brecht and Theatre as Catalyst for Social Change"

Dear Friends,
I am pleased to announce The Sixth Act's first spring workshop, "Brecht and Theatre as Catalyst for Social Change," to be presented in collaboration with the Holocaust Genocide Studies Project. The workshop will be Tuesday, February 28, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., in the Black Box Theater (Building 4) at MCC's Brighton Campus. The workshop is free and open to the public. Metered parking is available.

Bertolt Brecht remains a foremost drama theorist, especially for theatre artists interested in addressing sociopolitical issues. In discussion of his difficult "alienation effect," Brecht writes, "The attitude which [the actor] adopts is a socially critical one. In his [sic] exposition of the incidents and in his characterization of the person he tries to bring out those features which come within society's sphere. In this way his performance becomes a discussion (about social conditions) with the audience he is addressing. He prompts the spectator to justify or abolish these conditions according to what class he belongs to."

The workshop will begin by historicizing Brecht and unpacking his most fundamental theoretical paradigms. Then, actors will present the first scene of Brecht's famous anti-capitalist anti-war play Mother Courage, employing Brechtian methods. Finally, members of the Holocaust Genocide Studies Project will open discussion of how to use Brecht and his ideas in a socially charged classroom.

At the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska, in June 2004, Tony Kushner told participants that the only reason to write plays is to change the world, and that the only way to write plays that can change the world is to spend time with Brecht. We invite you all to spend a short period of time with Brecht and, whether you write plays or not, to leave this workshop better equipped to effect real change in the world at large.

Director, The Sixth Act
The Sixth Act aims to broaden and deepen an interdisciplinary appreciation of drama at MCC and in the city of Rochester. It is currently led by faculty members and students drawn from a variety of academic disciplines and departments. For more information, please contact Maria Brandt at 585-292-3394 or ""

Maria Brandt