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Program Information
TUC Radio
For Brecht’s 100ds birthday in 1998 the Royal National Theatre from London gave a performance in his honor at Theater Artaud in San Francisco
2
 Maria Gilardin  Contact Contributor
July 12, 2023, 3:32 a.m.
Bertolt Brecht and many other artists in post WWI Germany were courageously and proudly democrats, socialists or communists. They had experienced the horror of the first World War and were determined to prevent a second one. So when Hitler and the Nazi party actually assumed state power in 1933 they were all marked and most of them left the country immediately. Their exodus destroyed much of the cultural/political rebellion of the 1920s.

Even though Brecht, the playwright, poet, director and theoretician of the stage, was persecuted by the Nazi’s, he was forced to leave his home in exile in the US when he was accused of being a communist. Nevertheless he did become a major influence on visual and performance artists such as Jean Luc Godard, Robert Wilson, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Augusto Boal, Pina Bausch, Dario Fo and many others.

His most famous plays, the Threepenny Opera and the Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny were just two of over sixty plays. During the war years, Brecht became a prominent writer of the “Literature in Exile”. He expressed his opposition to the National Socialist and Fascist movements in his most often performed plays: Mother Courage, The Good Person of Szechwan, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, and The Life of Galileo - that he revised after the dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One of his most searing, funny, frightening and historically accurate plays against Hitler is The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. The play followed precisely the stages of the Nazi’s seizure of power and posed the most important question: Could Hitler’s rise have been stopped?

For Brecht’s 100ds birthday in 1998 the Royal National Theatre from London, under their first formidable woman director Di Trevis, gave a performance in his honor in San Francisco. They presented songs, and read from poetry and plays. I was given permission to record the songs during the dress rehearsal and include them in this broadcast. They are, in order of appearance: Song of the SA Man, The Seven Deadly Sins, To a Portable Radio, The Ballad of the “Jewish Whore” Marie Sanders, To Those Born Later, Hollywood Elegy, The Moldau, and Everything or Nothing.

This rebroadcast in July 2023 calls attention to the fragile edge between war and peace; and fascism and democracy, that might lead to WWIII.
CREDIT: Royal National Theatre from London

TUC_230711_happy_birthday_bertolt_brecht Download Program Podcast
00:29:30 1 Nov. 3, 1998
Theater Artaud, San Francisco
  View Script
    
 00:00:30  192Kbps mp3
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146 Download File...
TUC_230711_happy_birthday_bertolt_brecht Download Program Podcast
00:29:30 1 Nov. 3, 1998
Theater Artaud, San Francisco
  View Script
    
 00:29:00  192Kbps mp3
(MB) None
164 Download File...