This year's showcase production at the Brisbane Festival is a piece of Bertolt Brecht's Epic Theatre, "The Caucasian Chalk Circle," directed by renowned director, Jarrad Carroll. The following is a transcript of an interview held with Jarrad Carroll regarding not only his choice of "The Caucasian Chalk Circle," but also his views on Bertolt Brecht and the part that he plays in today's modern society.
Question 1: As a writer and director, Brecht revolutionized theatre practices. What was he trying to achieve through his productions?
Bertolt Brecht started his major writing and directing career with one goal: to create a new style of theatre that didn't involve the audience emotionally, but rather intellectually and on a humanistic level. To this effect, he also wanted to motivate the audience, to create an impact on them that would make them leave the theatre with the desire to change the world around them and mould it into something new. This change that Brecht brought to the dramatic world pulled away from the Realism, Naturalism and Romanticism of theatre in his day. To Brecht, these plays were merely an art form to stimulate the audience's emotions for a short period of time. Brecht broke off from the normal trends of theatre at the time and started to create his own form of theatre, the form of theatre now known to the world as Epic Theatre. Brecht's Epic Theatre style broke off from what is known as the "Aristotelian" concepts (that is having elements such as a linear storyline, a suspension of disbelief and progressive character development) and replaced the traditional forms of theatre with dada and expressionistic techniques that evolved into Epic Theatre. Such traits can be found in his use of episodic plot structures, the little cause and effect between scenes, and his cumulative character development.
Question 2: It has been said that Brecht adopted a very distinct approach to directing. Describe his approach referring...