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Mother Courage and Her Children

Illinois State University, College of Fine Arts, Westhoff Theatre

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directed by Sandi Zielinski “War is like love,” says the Chaplain to Mother Courage. “It always finds a way.” In 1939 the worst conflagration in human history was finding its way. Hitler invaded Poland, launching World War II, and in response the exiled playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote Mother Courage and Her Children in a little over a month. (The play had its premiere two years later in Switzerland.) Brecht used his notion of “epic theatre” to stand old ideas on their head, ironically employing comedy and songs, revealing the mechanics of stagecraft and the artificiality of spoken dialogue, even as he exposed the profit motives underlying human conduct. As Mother Courage follows the Swedish Army through the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) she reaps her small profits while losing the lives of her children. “Stop all the troops: Here’s Mother Courage!” she sings. “Hey, Captain, let them come and buy! / For they can get from Mother Courage / Boots they will march in till they die!” October 18 – 20 & October 23 – 27, 7:30 p.m. Matinee: October 21, 2:00 p.m.

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