Implications of Epic Theatre on Consumerist Society

One of the most interesting points I took from seminar was the discussion regarding the unpopularity of epic theatre in society today. Epic theatre had already been established before Brecht in the early to mid-20th century, however he was the person who unified the practice, developed it and popularized it (Cash, Theatre Links). Brecht argued that “one of the goals of epic theatre is for the audience to always be aware that it is watching a play” therefore, unlike mainstream films, epic theatre must not immerse the audience but keep them constantly thinking (Cash, Theatre Links).

In current-day society epic theatre remains to be massively unpopular, this is due to the effects 21st century culture has had on society worldwide; multinational companies throughout the world has changed people in society into consumerist machines which changes the way we behave as a whole. Instead of being taught to think and question everything in the world, we are subtly changed into mindless consumerist zombies who simply buy the product, use it, then proceed to move on to the next once we tire of them. An example of this method of thinking in society are the songs we listen to today, unlike Beethoven’s symphonies which has survived through time, they are given simplistic beats and melodies in order to make people listen (consume) them for a short period of time. Multinational companies enforce this way of thinking so they can take advantage of our short attention spans and have their customers come back for more. This contrasts Brecht’s goal in epic theatre where they force the audience to think and question which allows them to become more knowledgeable.

Works Cited:

Cash, Justin. “Epic Theatre.” Theatre Links. N.p., 1998. Web. 09 Jan. 2017. <>.

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