Brecht and Beyond

Subject 673-340 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture per week and a 2-hour workshop per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 points first year level theatre studies.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Denise Joan Varney


Denise Varney

Subject Overview:

The subject begins with a study of the theatre of Bertolt Brecht focusing on the radical concept of epic theatre, the new techniques for actors, the plays and their stagings at the Berliner Ensemble and elsewhere. Students will have the opportunity to investigate Brechtian acting techniques through practical workshops, to consider the historical distance between Brecht's times and the present and to analyse contemporary adaptations of the plays and the staging techniques. Students will assess Brecht's contribution to radical theatre, modern drama, and the contemporary performance. The subject is taught through lectures, play readings, critical reading anhd reflection and practical workshops.

Objectives: students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of Brechtian theories of acting and their historical and aesthetic context;
understand the relationship between the acting theory and the development of performance practice;
compare and contrast different approaches to Brecht in a practical context;
understand the influence of Brecht on contemporary practice;
perform, write and talk critically about aspects of Brechtian performance practice.

A total of 4000 words. An essay of 3000 words 50% (due at the end of semester), class exercises of 1000 words including performances 40% and participation including preparation for practical work 10%.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate sound and independant critical thinking and anlaysis;

  • be able to present written and oral communication of subject matter;

  • undertake research through competent use of library and other information sources, and through defining areas of enquiry and methods of research.


Formerly available as 760-413 Brechtian Theatre. Students who have completed 760-413 are not eligible to enrol in this subject. This subject is available to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Creative Arts students and may be credited towards a theatre studies major in either course.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Creative Arts
Diploma in Creative Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
Theatre Studies Major

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