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September 7, 2005

Comments from Beth Gilleland

When we did the Caucasian Chalk Circle, Martin Esslin was concurrently teaching a class at the “U” on Pinter. He was also an authority on Brecht. He came to see the show, then offered some commentary afterwards.

For Grusha’s flight through the mountains, six males lifted a platform a bridge up to an impressive height of about nine feet and I, as Grusha, had to step onto this floating bridge, and was ushered across the stage to an equally high precipice on the other side — singing, and holding a baby.

“Deep is the abyss son, I feel the weak bridge sway…” I felt the bridge sway, believe you me.

As an illuminating example of Brecht’s theory of alienation, Esslin told us that in Brecht’s production, the effect of real danger was absent. The bridge was a short plank, two feet off the ground.

— Beth Gilleland (1980 grad)

Posted by utheatre at September 7, 2005 10:10 PM | University Theatre Memories