An introduction to the theory and practical application of Brecht's Ep – Rhinegold Publishing

An introduction to the theory and practical application of Brecht's Epic Theatre


The aim of this 16-lesson scheme of work is for students to explore and understand Brecht’s theories in a practical way. The intention is that students will learn that Brechtian work can be exciting, challenging and thought-provoking, both for themselves and for the audience. Students will delve into practical work with a view to devising their own Brechtian-inspired pieces.

This scheme is aimed at AS-level students who are required to create a devised piece influenced by a practitioner. Although it is written with the WJEC DA1 exam in mind, it can easily be applied to any exam board that requires practitioner-based work.

When students first learn about Brecht the most common response I receive is that his work must only be serious, staid and educational. This scheme has been written to show that Brechtian inspired devised work can be funny, sensitive and original. Students can create a piece of devised work that has a fresh approach to it, which challenges the audience to look at a subject in a new light and possibly inspires them to ‘go out and change the world’. What could be more exciting than that?

The scheme uses extracts from Brecht’s plays, reading material from the book Brecht on Theatre and a variety of practical exercises. By the end of this scheme of work, students will have a firm grasp of Brecht’s Epic Theatre and be able to use his ideas and theories to create their own devised work. They will have learned the important lesson that they are not only creating work for themselves, but they are putting the audience at the very centre of what they are trying to achieve: to produce a piece that challenges people to think.

Learning objectives:

  • To understand how style, form, dramatic structure and characterisation can be interpreted and realised in performance
  • To understand the work of practitioners and their contribution to theatre practice
  • To learn about practitioner’s theory
  • To be able to develop theory into the practical application of the devised section of the DA1 examination

Number of lessons: 17

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