The Brecht Project has announced the premiere performances of five new short plays.

By: Oct. 01, 2020
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The Brecht Project has announced the premiere performances of five new short plays, The Informer by Christine U'Ren; I'm With Her by Scott Munson; The People Upstairs by Scott Munson; Judicial Process by Reg Clay; and Judith by Denmo Ibrahim, forming the first contributions to THE PRIVATE LIFE OF THE (NOT SO) MASTER RACE.

Inspired by Bertolt Brecht's 1938 documentary portrait Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, the five playlets are directed by Susan E. Evans, assisted by Kimberly Ridgeway. THE PRIVATE LIFE OF THE (NOT SO) MASTER RACE will have three performances live on Zoom October 27, October 28, and October 29, 2020. Tickets are free, with suggested $10-50 donations to The Brecht Project encouraged and welcomed.

Why now? Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by Bertolt Brecht was one of the first documentary theatre pieces. Brecht asked the world:

"How did this happen? How did Germany come to be ruled by the National Socialist dictatorship? How are the people's actions or inactions allowing the regime to thrive?

How and when will Resistance manifest?"

Our playwrights transport these same questions to 21st c. America.

A couple dread where their son's loyalties may lie (The Informer); a Trump Supporter tangles and tricks a Worker (I'm With Her); a man is not his neighbor's keeper (The People Upstairs); a Judge faces an impossible case (Judicial Process); and a Jewish woman remembers her family's journey (Judith). The Brecht Project ensemble is comprised of 12 performers (four of whom appeared in Eastenders Repertory Company's 2007 production of Fear and Misery) -- some are local, some hail from far afield: Benjamin Boucvalt, April Deutschle, Damaris Divito, Carolyn Doyle, Tim Holt Jones, Aaron Royce Jones, Suzan A Kendall, Francis Koll, Gene Mocsy, Tom Reilly, Kimberly Ridgeway, and Sharon Shao.

In 2007, Eastenders Repertory Company produced Bertolt Brecht's Fear and Misery of the Third Reich. Charles E. Polly, the company's Founder, and Susan E. Evans, the Artistic Director, co-directed 18 of the scenes in Brecht's play. The play and its impact on audiences made a lasting impression on everyone involved. Fast forward about 10 years. Evans and playwright Scott Munson percolated on the idea about updating Fear and Misery to present day America, envisioning the creation of its component pieces, written by many voices, expanding outward in concentric circles. The playlets would exist independently, and could be performed anywhere, but also could be performed as a living globe. Blink again. 2020. A pandemic and a tumultuous election year and the urgency to actually produce this piece (not to mention write it) kicked up more than a few notches. And so ... The Brecht Project began. Starting with four of the core pieces, much as Brecht did, plus one more, four local writers using Brecht as their inspiration transported and transmuted the themes and stories to our United States. How did we arrive at this moment in America?


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