This is a videotaped recording of a performance, in English translation, of two of Bertolt Brecht's largely unknown and seldom performed works, Übungstücke für Schauspieler and Practice Pieces for Actors. Brecht wrote these scenes to train actors in his own method for doing classical drama. These scenes were meant to be vigorously rehearsed but then omitted when the play was presented. The idea was to oblige the actors to embody their characters' human weaknesses. Brecht felt this would undercut any tendency on the part of the actor to adopt an "heroic" interpretation. Not surprisingly, the "human weaknesses" betray economic dependency.
This video contains the scenes for "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hamlet." Featured are Lotte Lenya, Roscoe Lee Browne, Micki Grant, Oliver Clark. Lenya and translator Michael Lebeck briefly discuss the theater of Brecht. Black and White