Eric Bentley - historian, playwright, drama critic and leading Brecht scholar -- introduces scenes from his translation of Bertolt Brecht's play-with-songs "Mann Ist Mann" ("A Man's A Man.")
The performance seen here is the then (1962) current off-Broadway production, at a time when Brecht's popularity in America was high after the revival of his "The Threepenny Opera."
The cast includes Clifford James, Michael Conrad, James Hefferman, and Olympia Dukakis. Bentley speaks of Brecht's ideas and theater devices, the origins of his political passions in post-World War One Europe, his failure to attract American audiences in the 1930's and his remarkable success later. Brecht died in 1956. This play - early in his career - uses some of the themes and theater approaches he developed in "The Threepenny Opera," "Mother Courage," and "The Good Woman of Setzuan." Black/white