Bertolt Brecht was an interesting and complex figure in the 20th century. His epic theater had a huge influence in the world today. Brecht’s motivation comes from the fact that the lower class in the 1920s were desensitized about all sorts of injustice and persecutions around them.As a result, he tried to create a form of theater that makes the audience to think and reflect problems in real life. This approach to theater was novel at the time.
In order to make audience reflect other than enjoying a performance, Brecht tried a number of techniques to make the audience emotionally unattached to the performance and the actors on stage. Here are some examples of what he did.
Interrupting the performance by music and songs that are not closely related to the play.
Gestus,(Gestures) abstracting the character to make them simpler to understand. Staring at the audience for no particular reason.
Unconventional props and set designs. Such as using one tree to represent a forest. Characters dressed in bleak and white custom.
changing props and settings under audience’s eye
Big curtains that never close throughout a performance.
However, despite Brecht’s effort, the function of art and theater haven’t changed. Personally, I don’t expect to think or reflect anything when I watch TV and I don’t know anyone who does. In some occasions, I would relate the theme of a TV series to something I have read, but that doesn’t make me reflect anything.
Although Brecht didn’t enjoy the way audience think about theater in his era. However, I don’t think he was successful in making people think. Regardless of what he thought about Hollywood ( a false representation of what’s going on in the world ), it is still making lots of profit. In other words, Brecht did not succeed in making people think. After all, people still go to movies for pure enjoyment.