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Tony Kushner and Brechtian Staging

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Stephen King

on 15 October 2012

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Transcript of Tony Kushner and Brechtian Staging

Tony Kushner Tony Kushner Born on July 16, 1959 in Manhattan, NYC Undgraduate at Columbia, Graduate at NYU Columbia Protests of 1968 Studied Brecht A Bright Room Called Day (1985) Mother Courage (Adaptation - 2005) Bertolt Brecht Grew up during Germany's decadent period, the Wiemar Republic (1919 - 1933) Epic Theatre Alienation Gestus Breaking the Fourth Wall Didacticism Angels in America Kushner's epic play explores the political atmosphere of the AIDS epidemic of 1985. Prior Walter, a gay man with AIDS, struggles with his lover, Louis, walking out on him and the prophetic visions he gains with his illness. Alienation: Louis struggles to cope with Prior's illness. Gestus: Conflict surrounding Belize and Roy Cohn. Breaking the Fourth Wall: Kushner ends the play with the cast speaking to the audience. Didacticism: Conveys importance of community, how history shapes an identity, and the power of forgiveness. Brechtian Staging Purpose of Staging Kushner states in the preface of the play that there should be no blackouts, wires should be exposed, and scenes changes should not be hidden from the audience. The audience is part of the discussion onstage. Capitalism seeks to hide labor, and only expose the spectacle aspect. Kushner advocates for productions to express vulnerability. Theatre, as Kushner believes, can never hide the mechanics that go into a performance.
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