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Indigenizing the Brechtian Theory of Epic Theater: A Case Study of Nāga – Mandala

Author(s): Awanish Rai

Journal: Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences
ISSN 1944-1088

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 968;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Epic Theater | Brecht | India | Indigenizing

dictated the terms and conditions for the creation andproduction of a play for more than two thousand years in theWest. His principles and theories remained unchallenged tillthe emergence of Bertolt Brecht, the German poet -playwright - theoretician who did not only question theauthority of Aristotle but also proved his credentials beyonddoubt. He questioned the relevance of the ' willingsuspension of disbelief ' and created the aesthetics of hisown where catharsis is never the end of a theatricalperformance. In a letter entitled 'Shouldn't we AbolishAesthetics?' addressed to Prof. Fritz Sternberg, Brechtdeclared that the new theatre was meant for a 'different'audience and that new pieces ' are not going to satisfy theold aesthetics; (rather) they are going to destroy it' (1979:22). Moreover he outrightly denied the fact that this 'radicaltransformation of the theatre' (1979: 23) was not a result ofhis whims and proved that it was the need of the hour.Finally in an extensive article entitled ' The Modern Theatreis the Epic Theatre' which he wrote as 'Notes to the operaAufstied and Fall der Stadt Mahagonny' in 1930, Brechtexplained the difference between Dramatic Theatre and EpicTheatre and the latter's positive effect on the minds of theaudience and upon the society at large.
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