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A study of Elliott Carter’s opera What Next? with a libretto by Paul Griffiths, premiered at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The chapter considers the influence of Jacques Tati’s film Trafic (Traffic) as well as the opera’s response to the Mozart/Da Ponte operas, verismo, Ferruccio Busoni, the Verfremdungseffekt in the “epic theater” of Berthold Brecht, and European postwar modernism.
Bertolt Brecht never developed a “system” for actor training. Nevertheless, even though one cannot point to a “Brechtian” system of acting training, others have been inspired by his theory and practice to develop alternatives to the Stanislavsky-based systems of acting training that dominate the curricula at US universities and acting studios. This chapter traces some of the key ways in which a Brechtian approach to acting has made inroads into American actor training by focusing on the two systems of training that are most fully fleshed out as methodologies and also most consciously indebted to Brecht both aesthetically and politically – Boal’s “Theatre of the Oppressed” (TO), and “Viewpoints” training.
This article examines Bertolt Brecht’s impact on contemporary transcultural theater worldwide. Globalization and migration have increased the importance and impact of transcultural theater in recent decades, leading to new forms of theatrical creation and experience. In the context of aggressive anti-globalization reactions characterized by xenophobia and racism, transcultural theater, as influenced and initiated by Brecht, celebrates hybridity and the fragment, focusing above all on processes of estrangement (Verfremdung) that reject the fantasy of a complete, self-identical, separate cultural sphere. Transcultural theater embraces multiperspectivalism and views the supposedly well-known and obvious self as strange and foreign, while at the same time it invites the self into a process of dialog with other cultures and identities that are equally strange and foreign. It rejects the notion of holistic identities and instead embraces the fragmentary, basing itself on repetition, historicization, and the citability of gestures. Transcultural theater seeks to create theatrical experiences that are adequate to, and also respond in a meaningful way to, the complex and changing world of migration and mobility in which both theater practitioners and theater audiences actually live.
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