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EAC to participate in the Kennedy Center Theatre Festival

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EAC to participate in the Kennedy Center Theatre Festival

By Jeanné Clark

THATCHER, AZ—Brecht on Brecht is the EAC Theatre Department’s entry in the Kennedy Center-American College Theatre Festival (KC-ACTF). The festival is actually a competition between college theatre programs that ultimately culminates in a select few shows performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in late spring.

To achieve that reward, colleges perform on their own campuses with several adjudicators (judges) attending. The adjudicators select between four and six shows to perform at a regional festival. Finally, a panel will watch the winners of the regional festivals and select four plays to perform at the Kennedy Center.

“This is a daunting competition,” says EAC Theatre instructor and play director, Dr. Dan Robbins. “EAC is in Region VIII and there are eight total regions. This year, Region VIII has 60 participating entries. So, each school in our group has roughly a one in ten chance of performing at the Regional Festival. Then, even if we win our Region, the show only has a 50% chance of performing at the Kennedy Center.”

EAC is offering Brecht on Brecht as this year’s entry. “Bertolt Brecht was a theatre artist of many talents,” said Robbins. “He is known chiefly as a playwright of such classics as Mother Courage and The Three Penny Opera as two of his more well known works. Brecht was also a director and founded the Berliner Ensemble in 1949, which became world famous, as well as a theorist who wrote several famous essays on his ideas of proper and improper means of producing theatre.”

However, Brecht on Brecht focuses on Brecht’s skill as a poet. “Brecht, an anti-Nazi, had to flee Germany when Hitler rose to power,” says Robbins. “The result is Brecht on Brecht, a play that reveals his views on theatre, which are often quite humorous, his hatred for the Nazis, and the horror of the Holocaust. The show also features several songs that Brecht and Kurt Weill composed, including the very well known Mack the Knife.”

The play will be performed in Chamber Theatre style with the audience sitting on the stage. This creates a very intimate staging where the audience can hear every word easily. Brecht on Brecht will feature poems, songs, dance, and slides in a humorous and gripping performance that the public won’t want to miss.

Robbins also says that this play deals with subject matter that some parents may find too mature for their younger children.

Brecht on Brecht performs November 11-13, at 7:30 p.m., with a special Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. on November 14. All shows will be held in the EAC Fine Arts Auditorium. Admission price for Brecht on Brecht is $3 for children or $5 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling EAC’s Ticket Office at 428-8228.