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Drama: Solo Structures: Epic Theatre

To support Year 12 Drama

What is Epic Theatre?

Epic theatre (German: episches Theater) is a theatrical movement arising in the early to mid-20th century from the theories and practice of a number of theatre practitioners who responded to the political climate of the time through the creation of a new political theatre. [source]

Epic Theatre Performance Styles

Sometimes called Brechtian theatre, Epic Theatre is a style of theatre that seeks to tell a story, often on a large historical scale, and including a number of people and events over time. It aims to engage the intellect rather than emotions and often uses devices that alienate the audience.

It is exemplified by:

  • direct address and/or the use of narration and song as commentary
  • use of signs
  • use of mask and movement
  • creation of a large range of characters, often transformed using minimal costume or properties
  • stylised gesture and movement
  • deliberate and conscious choices intended to remind the audience that they are watching a play.

Examples of Epic Theatre