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A satire on capitalist forces operating in war

1 min read

By Ranjitha Revanna and Rakesh D M

Mysuru: Mother Courage and Her Children (German: Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder) is a play written in 1939 by the German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956), with significant contributions from Margarete Steffin.

Four theatrical productions were produced in Switzerland and Germany from 1941 to 1952, the last three supervised and/or directed by Brecht, who had returned to East Germany from the United States.

Several years after Brecht’s death in 1956, the play was adapted as a German film, Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (1961), starring Helene Weigel, Brecht’s widow and a leading actress.
It was screened during Bahuroopi Film Festival at Rangayana on Sunday.
Mother Courage is considered by some to be the greatest play of the 20th century, and perhaps also the greatest anti-war play of all time.
Critic Brett D Johnson points out, “Although numerous theatrical artists and scholars may share artistic director Oskar Eustis’s opinion that Brecht’s masterpiece is the greatest play of the twentieth century, productions of Mother Courage remain a rarity in contemporary American theatre.”
Mother Courage, with its theme of the devastating effects of a European war and the blindness of anyone hoping to profit by it, is said to have been written in a month; judging by the almost complete absence of drafts or any other evidence of preliminary studies, it must have been an exceptionally direct piece of inspiration.
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