Brecht on Brecht
By Debbie Kagy
The Other Theatre Company presents its premiere play, Brecht on Brecht at the Atwater Playhouse. The production is a compilation of poetry, scenes, and songs by Bertolt Brecht (1898—1956), shown here, with numerous photos of Brecht and humorous audio from his HUAC testimony. Brecht has influenced theater, through his Brechtian style which relies on the audience to reflect on what they’ve heard rather than an elaborate stage design, as well as minds with his theories and philosophies on politics and society.
Brecht on Brecht contains a standout scene from “The Jewish Wife” performed by Susan Kussman and Gregg Lawrence. Kussman seamlessly melds fear, love, anti-Semitism, and activism into a heartbreaking moment where she must abandon everyone and everything in her life. The seasoned cast is rounded out by Gil Hagen-Hill, Daniel Houston-Davila, and Belinda Howell.
One of the geniuses of Brecht on Brecht is that each director has the freedom to make his own selection of pieces from the master list originally compiled by George Tabori in 1961. In this production, Director and Producer Alistair Hunter has expertly chosen pieces in such a way that the audience truly gets to know who Brecht was and what he meant to his time. The added interviews and pictures enlighten us to his humor and the desperate, dark world in which he was living. Brecht’s influence does not fade into the time it was written, but resonates greatly within us today to take action and affect change in our hurtful society.
Brecht on Brecht plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through June 9 (dark on May 12, 24, 25, 26) at the Atwater Playhouse (down the street from the Atwater Village Theater). Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at plays411.com/brecht or by calling (323) 960-1054.