site.btaGoethe Institut Marks Bertolt Brecht’s 125th Birth Anniversary
Goethe Institut ismarking the 125th anniversary of German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht with a screening of a filming of his emblematic play, Mother Courage and Her Children, scheduled for February 8, the Institut said.
The play produced on the stage of the Berliner Ensemble was directed by Bertolt Brecht himself and Erich Engel. The production was filmed between 1959 and 1961, a little after Brecht passed away. The recording shows an onstage performance of the play that had already been shown 400 times.
Brecht wrote Mother Courage and Her Children during his voluntary exile in Sweden in 1938-1939 in protest against the rise of fascism and Nazism, as well as the invasion of Hitler’s army into Poland in 1939.
The film was produced by DEFA, the German Democratic Republic’s state film studio, and was screened simultaneously in 14 GDR cities when it was premiered in February 1961 to mark Brecht’s 63rd birthday.
Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (February 10, 1898 – August 14, 1956), known professionally as Bertolt Brecht, was born in Augsburg, Germany. A theatre practitioner, playwright, and poet, with the onset of the Nazi Germany period, Brecht fled his home country, first to Denmark, then in 1941 to the United States, where he was subsequently declared a communist.
Returning to East Berlin after the war in 1948, he established the theatre company Berliner Ensemble with his wife and long-time collaborator, actress Helene Weigel. His most popular plays include The Threepenny Opera, The Good Person of Szechwan and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, among others.