The Third Front. Political theatre: Erwin Piscator - ACE079.2

1978. The Third Front. Political theatre: Erwin Piscator - ACE079.2.

TitleThe Third Front. Political theatre: Erwin Piscator - ACE079.2
Timecode
In00:00:00
Out00:08:25
Description

Captions: "‘Contradictions in the Theatre; Contradictions in the Times.’" "‘Piscator was one of the greatest theatre men of all time’ Brecht" Caption: "1918-19 The War and the Revolution " Montage of images and sound evoking the war: battlefield, recruiting poster, war memorial, marching songs, etc. Piscator remembers being under fire and thinking that being an actor seemed so unimportant. "The November days came. I made my only speech in the whole course of the Revolution. That evening, the first shots rang out." Sounds of running and marching feet; gunfire. Exterior theatre building. "Piscator’s theatre lasts six weeks." "Any artistic intention must be subordinated to the revolutionary purpose as a whole. It will not always be necessary to choose plays on account of the author’s political bias. Changes can be made… Concern for the feelings of the author is a conservative affair. Away with Art. Make an end of it. A new theatre had come into being." Caption: "1920-23 Proletarian and Epic Theatre." "Piscator’s proletarian theatre was a response to the threat of military counter-revolution, to alert the workers to the struggle ahead." Piscator says "We banned the word ‘Art’ from our programme … our plays … were intended … to be a form of political activity … conscious propaganda … proletarian theatre." Photograph of performance; commentary explains the symbolism of the characters, etc. Caption: "ROTE FAHNE (‘Red Flag’: Communist Newspaper)." "Art is too sacred a thing to lend its name to propagandistic concoction. What workers need today is for art to be strong… ". Piscator describes an occasion on which John Heartfield came late to the theatre with a backdrop he had produced. He credits Heartfield with being the founder of "epic theatre". Man in theatre. "The plain man of the seventies and eighties sees the theatre as a temple of the muses, to be entered in a white tie and tails and a mood of appropriate elation. It would seem scandalous to him to hear anything about the ugly daily struggle, about wages, working hours, profits or dividends, amid the red plush and gold stucco of these magnificent halls. The newspaper’s the place for that kind of thing." Theatre exterior. "Naturalism had marched under the banner of ‘truth, nothing but truth’. But what was truth at that time? Nothing other than literature’s discovery of the people … In Naturalism, the proletariat as a class appears in the theatre for the first time…"
Man in theatre. "A resolution was drawn up which protested in the strongest possible terms at the measures taken by the Chief of Police against the Proletarian Theatre which is to be suppressed by refusing it permission to perform…" Theatre interior; commentary says that Piscator took over another theatre, selling off its heating pipes to pay the rent, but eventually had to sell the building.

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The Third Front. Political theatre: Erwin Piscator - ACE079.3
1978. The Third Front. Political theatre: Erwin Piscator - ACE079.3.

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1978. The Third Front. Political theatre: Erwin Piscator - ACE079.4.

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