Buying brass: A method re-examined

Alice Koubová, Anders Carlsson, Kent Sjöström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is an account of a lecture-performance presentation held in the context of “Contradictions as a Method,” an international Bertolt Brecht symposium that took place in November 2019 at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. As three speakers engaged with theatre in different ways, we were inspired by the dialogical structure of Brecht’s play Buying Brass and staged a similarly structured conversation. This conversation imitated and transposed the form in which thespians and the philosopher meet in Brecht’s original text. However, we decided not to perform characters from the play, but to speak from our own professional perspectives. Consequently, we focused on the current problems in theatre that we have met within our professional engagement, not specific problems mentioned in the original play. Yet, during the rehearsals, it came to light that there were many overlaps between the themes and characters of Brecht’s Buying Brass and the discussion of our live conversations. Therefore, we decided to use explicit references to some parts of the original Buying Brass play in our staged lecture-performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53–68
Number of pages15
JournalArte Acta
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 25
EventBertolt Brecht – Contradictions as Method - DAMU, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 2019 Nov 82019 Nov 10

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Performing Art Studies

Artistic work

  • Text


  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Buying Brass
  • Messingkauf
  • Theatre
  • Theatre institutions
  • Performance philosophy
  • Lecture performance
  • Acting


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