Saturday, August 06, 2005

"He broke the Law like Bread"

Last night K. and I saw a performance of The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht. It is one of my favorite plays, a work that Brecht composed in America while in exile. The play is typically Brecht, with few heroes, only those who act according to instinct. The treat in this play is Azdak, an idiot installed as judge by the soldiers who toppled the government. Azdak is aware that the symbols rather than the man make for power, and he uses his position to dole out his unique brand of popular justice. His scenes can be read as an commentary on how justice should be meted out after Germany's defeat.

The plays was performed by the Mettawee River Theater Company, which incorporates masks and puppets into theatrical performances. Very well done. My only beef was that they excised Brecht's own historicity (he would mix anachronistic events within the time of a play).

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