Bertolt Brecht is a study in contradictions. In a purely individualistic way he broke all barriers and re-made theater anew, yet defined his work as a collective effort. “Brechtian drama” is not the work of a man, but a collective subject. On January 15-16, the Readers Theatre Repertory examined the subject through its own collective, themed “Collaborating with the Collaborator.”
The plays were directed by Wendy Wilcox, and included “The Jewish Wife,” “The Informer,” “The Elephant Calf” and “In Search of Justice.”
Wilcox said Brecht’s commitment to the collective suits her style. “Sure, there was no one like Brecht. But he found others who understood him, and a whole movement sprang up around his vision.” RTR, a company where every member is a co-artistic director, and whose theatre home is Blackfish Gallery, Portland’s oldest artist collective, is the ideal setting for the show, she added.
“These plays showcase Brecht’s absurd attack on tale-telling, but they’re deadly serious stories about fascism,” said Wilcox. “I’m excited to work in partnership with this cast to tell these powerful, well, ‘Brechtian’ stories in Blackfishes’ intimate setting.”
The cast included Marsha Allen, Rick Sanders, and Kenneth Sergienko, among others