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By Bertolt Brecht By Bertolt Brecht By Bertolt Brecht By Bertolt Brecht Translated by Translated by Translated by Translated by Ralph Manhelm Ralph Manhelm Ralph Manhelm Ralph Manhelm Performance Notes for Educators Prepared by Katie Stewart The purpose of this document is to provide Queensland educators with information and resources for Queensland Theatre Company’s production of The Exception and The Exception and The Exception and The Exception and T T The Rule he Rule he Rule he Rule. . . . The activities and resources contained in this document are designed as the starting point for educators in developing more comprehensive lessons for this production. Katie Stewart is seconded to Queensland Theatre Company from Education Queensland as an Education Liaison Officer. © Queensland Government (Education Queensland) and Queensland Theatre Company 2009. Copyright protects this publication. Except for the purposes permitted by the Copyright Act, reproduction by whatever means is prohibited. However, limited photocopying for classroom use is permitted by educational institutions that have a license with the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL). This material includes work from the Education Liaison Officer and is reproduced with the permission of the owner, Department of Education, Queensland, PO Box 33, Brisbane Albert Street, Queensland, Australia, 4002. Any inquiries should be addressed to the Education Liaison Officer, Youth & Education Program, Queensland Theatre Company, PO Box 3310 South Brisbane BC Queensland 4101. Produced by Queensland Theatre Company and Education Queensland.

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  • By Bertolt BrechtBy Bertolt BrechtBy Bertolt BrechtBy Bertolt Brecht Translated by Translated by Translated by Translated by Ralph ManhelmRalph ManhelmRalph ManhelmRalph Manhelm

    Performance Notes for Educators

    Prepared by Katie Stewart

    The purpose of this document is to provide Queensland educators with information and resources for Queensland Theatre Companys production of The Exception andThe Exception andThe Exception andThe Exception and TTTThe Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule. . . . The activities and resources contained in this document are designed as the starting point for educators in developing more comprehensive lessons for this production. Katie Stewart is seconded to Queensland Theatre Company from Education Queensland as an Education Liaison Officer.

    Queensland Government (Education Queensland) and Queensland Theatre Company 2009. Copyright protects this publication. Except for the purposes permitted by the Copyright Act, reproduction by whatever means is prohibited. However, limited photocopying for classroom use is permitted by educational institutions that have a license with the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL). This material includes work from the Education Liaison Officer and is reproduced with the permission of the owner, Department of Education, Queensland, PO Box 33, Brisbane Albert Street, Queensland, Australia, 4002. Any inquiries should be addressed to the Education Liaison Officer, Youth & Education Program, Queensland Theatre Company, PO Box 3310 South Brisbane BC Queensland 4101. Produced by Queensland Theatre Company and Education Queensland.

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    Table of Contents

    How to Act at the Theatre 3 Synopsis & Artistic Team 4

    Curriculum Connections 5 About the Playwright Bertolt Brecht 6 Directors Insight Joseph Mitchell 8 Designers Insight Helen Jacobs 9 Actors Insight Timothy Dashwood 10 Directors Notes by Joseph Mitchell 11 Brecht Sourcebook Edited by Carol Martin and Henry Bial 13 Post Performance Discussion Questions and Websites of Interest 14 Script Excerpt The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule 15 Script Excerpt The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule 17 Classroom Activities 19 Suggested Assessment 20 Set Model Box 22

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    How to Act at the Theatre (when youre not on stage)

    Be in your seat five minutes before the show starts Food and drinks are not permitted in the theatre

    Be respectful to other audience members

    TURN OFF all electrical devices before entering the theatre

    Save note taking and discussion for AFTER the show

    Feel free to laugh, cry and applaud

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    Synopsis The Exception and The Rule WWWWritten by Bertolt Brechtritten by Bertolt Brechtritten by Bertolt Brechtritten by Bertolt Brecht

    A race through the Yahi desert to secure oil reserves by money-hungry merchants results in the death of an exploited worker. When the workers family try to claim compensation, the legal systems prejudices towards the privileged classes are exposed. Brechts comment that art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it, is the starting point for this new production of The The The The Exception and TException and TException and TException and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule. This radical interpretation of Brechts play includes a range of contemporary performance techniques exploring how Brechts work can be staged with relevance in the 21st Century.

    Artistic Team

    Timothy Dashwood Guide Steven Rooke Merchant Christopher Sommers Other/Judge Anthony Standish Coolie Joseph Mitchell Director Helen Jacobs Designer Ben Hughes Lighting Designer Phil Slade Composer/Sound Designer Melissa Agnew Voice Consultant Andrew Cory Clowning Consultant Jason King Fight Choreographer Sophia Dalton Stage Manager Jess Audsley Assistant Stage Manager

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    Curriculum Connections

    Themes / IdeasThemes / IdeasThemes / IdeasThemes / Ideas

    Exploitation Corruption Class, privilege and nepotism

    Performance / Dramatic ElPerformance / Dramatic ElPerformance / Dramatic ElPerformance / Dramatic Elementsementsementsements

    Brechtian techniques Political Theatre Updated interpretation

    of Heritage text Comedy and other stylised

    performance techniques The Exception and The Exception and The Exception and The Exception and TTTThe Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule is one of Brechts Learning Plays. Originally written to be performed for students, the play demonstrates how people from privileged classes can exploit and harm working class people for personal gain. This production is a new interpretation of the original text and incorporates a blend of classic Brechtian techniques and cutting-edge contemporary performance. [R] [R] [R] [R] 90 mins, including 10 minute Q&A [L] [L] [L] [L] Some coarse language [V] [V] [V] [V] Simulated violence [S] [S] [S] [S] Low sexual overtones [ELO] [ELO] [ELO] [ELO] Suitable for Year 9 12 students, this play has been transformed to appeal to a contemporary audience, but stays true to the conventions of Brechtian Theatre.

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    About the Playwright Bertolt Brecht

    Born Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht in Augsburg, Bavaria, 10th February, 1898.

    In 1917, he enrolled as a medical student at the Ludwig

    Maximilian University of Munich, but also completed many Arts subjects.

    This led Brecht to write his first play Baal he strongly

    disliked his teachers favourite play and believed he himself could write a better version.

    In 1918 Brecht was conscripted as a medical orderly in World

    War I, during which time he wrote his second play Drums in the Night.

    In 1922, Drums in the Night became the first of Brechts plays to be performed, and was critically

    acclaimed, winning Brecht the Kleist Prize Germanys most prestigious award for dramatic writing.

    The same year, Brecht married his first wife, Marianne Zoff, an actress and opera singer, and in

    1923, his daughter was born. 1924, Brecht moved to Berlin and during his time there, produced The Threepenny Opera, leading

    the resurgence of musicals worldwide. He also wrote his first book during this time, Die Hauspostille.

    In 1927, Brecht began to study Karl Marxs Das Kapital, which discussed Capitalism, and the idea

    of a Socialist revolution. By 1929, he had embraced Communism, a fact that was clearly evident in his works.

    Brecht married his second wife in 1929, Helene Weigel, and the two had a son and daughter

    together. In 1932 Brecht scripted a semi-documentary about the mass unemployment in Germany during the

    time, entitled Kuhle Wampe. In February 1933, Nazi Germany was instated and Brecht fled with his family to Prague. Brechts

    works were banned throughout Germany and staged productions of his written works were quickly put to a stop.

    In May 1941, Brecht received a visa to live and work in America and moved to California, where he

    attempted to write Hollywood movie scripts. None of these scripts were successful with producers, save for Hangmen Also Die (1943), about the assassination of Nazi leader, Hangman Reinhard Heydrich.

    Brecht left the US in 1947. At the time, Hollywood was in a heightened, almost panicked state of

    anti-Communist and anti-Socialist thinking. Actors, writers, producers and directors were interrogated about their belief systems, and while Brecht managed to convince those questioning him that he was no threat, he fled to Switzerland.

    Following 15 years of exile from Germany, Brecht returned in 1948, where he was welcomed by the

    Communist cultural establishment. Brecht founded his own company, the Berliner Ensemble, in 1949.

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    In 1954 Brecht was rewarded his own theatre, but often found that his political theories did not

    mesh with those of his audience, the Communists of East Germany. In his last years, Brecht wrote few plays, but some of the most successful poems of his career,

    including the Buckower Elegies. In 1955, Brecht received the Stalin Peace Prize. Brecht suffered a heart attack and subsequently passed on August the 14th, 1956. He was 58 at the

    time, and had written upwards of 50 plays.

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    Directors Insight Joseph Mitchell As a director, how did you develop a vision for this production?As a director, how did you develop a vision for this production?As a director, how did you develop a vision for this production?As a director, how did you develop a vision for this production? I began by reading articles about Brecht himself, particularly his own work as a director and his uncanny ability to disturb audiences through various staging and performance techniques. One example was Brechts staging of The Baden Baden Lesson on Consent in 1929 which included a scene where two clowns saw off the limbs of another clown on stage (using wooden broom sticks as arms and legs). Many people in the audience fainted at the sight and eventually a riot broke out. Brecht as a director and playwright wanted his theatre to be anything but forgettable. This became my starting point for our production how to present a Brecht production in a way which was just as fresh, exciting and confronting as any production Brecht would have staged himself 80 years ago. With this research and planning done, I began speaking with the design team and cast. We shared materials and discussed approaches to the play and eventually moved towards a design concept that allowed for my initial vision to be realised but with enough room for a whole range of new ideas to be incorporated through the rehearsal process from everyone involved. What techniques did you use in the rWhat techniques did you use in the rWhat techniques did you use in the rWhat techniques did you use in the rehearsal room to adapt the script for a contemporary audience?ehearsal room to adapt the script for a contemporary audience?ehearsal room to adapt the script for a contemporary audience?ehearsal room to adapt the script for a contemporary audience? For this play the process involved working through the script several times during the rehearsal process each time, exploring the possibilities of each scene further with the actors. In the first few days of rehearsal we started with a straight forward reading of the text and then began to dig out a more contemporary updating of the play by looking for interesting performative approaches to each scene. While doing this, I also had to try and keep thinking about how each scene would fit together with a growing range of varying performance styles. Towards the end of rehearsal we began to smooth these out with transitions and some light and music.

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    Designers Insight Helen Jacobs What process did you go through to design the set for What process did you go through to design the set for What process did you go through to design the set for What process did you go through to design the set for The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The he he he RuleRuleRuleRule???? For The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule the process was very intellectual, much more than usual. Brechts work and concepts were the focus of my discussions with the director. So it wasnt until after we had taken a thought provoking journey through the land of Brecht that we started to look at relevant imagery for our school concept. Why did you decide upon a school context for the set and costumes?Why did you decide upon a school context for the set and costumes?Why did you decide upon a school context for the set and costumes?Why did you decide upon a school context for the set and costumes? The school concept came from several linking areas of thought. We thought about our audiences and how class structure and the idea of status quo related to them. We looked at Brecht as a man and his personal behaviour which typifies the kidult psychology. Brechts work and concepts was the other area of influence, particularly the Lehrstck (German learning play) using reality and play, learning and entertainment. What challenges did you have to overcome when designing the set?What challenges did you have to overcome when designing the set?What challenges did you have to overcome when designing the set?What challenges did you have to overcome when designing the set? The greatest challenge as the designer was to tread a fine line with the school boy costuming. Because of the nature of the work and its direction, we wanted the audience to constantly be aware of the actor themselves, not just a character onstage. We therefore tried to mix a motley picture with school uniform pieces and hints of the actors personality, as well as hints of the character they played.

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    Actors Insight Timothy Dashwood HHHHow has the rehearsalow has the rehearsalow has the rehearsalow has the rehearsal process for process for process for process for The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule been been been been different from other playdifferent from other playdifferent from other playdifferent from other plays you have performed in?s you have performed in?s you have performed in?s you have performed in? In this production we have challenged the norms of theatre and created a jigsaw that we have had to piece together. Also, it has forced us to go against our natural impulses as actors and fight what is expected. Like most performances it has been a challenge to learn how to work with other actors who Ive never worked with. This was a challenge because we all come to the table with our own understanding of Brecht which has in turn informed the interpretation of this production. From an actors perspective, what is appealing about this play?From an actors perspective, what is appealing about this play?From an actors perspective, what is appealing about this play?From an actors perspective, what is appealing about this play? This is one of those plays where we are allowed to play and go against what is expected. In a way we were given permission to experiment with different styles and approaches some succeeded, many didnt, but it has been a fantastic collaborative process. When changing from character to character in one play, what techniques do you use to transition to each When changing from character to character in one play, what techniques do you use to transition to each When changing from character to character in one play, what techniques do you use to transition to each When changing from character to character in one play, what techniques do you use to transition to each character and make them believable?character and make them believable?character and make them believable?character and make them believable? This play is different from others because it is quite representational and it isnt the actors job to become the character we are presenting characters. We use different styles and normally the style chooses the techniques. Usually, a physical representation helps me, but each character is different and needs a different approach.

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    Directors Notes by Joseph Mitchell The following passages are excerpts from collected Director Notes in the preparation stages leading into The following passages are excerpts from collected Director Notes in the preparation stages leading into The following passages are excerpts from collected Director Notes in the preparation stages leading into The following passages are excerpts from collected Director Notes in the preparation stages leading into the design and rehearsal of the design and rehearsal of the design and rehearsal of the design and rehearsal of The Exception and The Rule.The Exception and The Rule.The Exception and The Rule.The Exception and The Rule. NOTES FROM JANUARY 2008 Research Areas Lehrstck Lehrstck is German for Learning Play. The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule is considered to be Lehrstck. This was a type of play which Brecht worked on during the period between 1928 1931 when he was in his late 20s early 30s. During this time, Brecht had aligned himself with the Communist party of Germany (although, wisely, he never joined it). The key Lehrstck plays are: He Who Says Yes/No The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule The Measures Taken The Flight over the Ocean Brecht was interested in reaching new audiences, hence the plays were written with school students, workers collectives and choirs in mind. The works consist of sparse and fast moving narratives which demonstrate almost mythical stories that are often devoid of any melodramatic language. The aim of them was to educate the non-traditional theatre audiences, often by actively involving the audience in the play itself. So, with The Measures Taken for example, Brecht engaged approximately four hundred and fifty singers from four different choirs to participate in the production as well as be the audience. The choral singers were from communist parties and mild religious groups and rehearsals would occur late at night after people had finished work. He Who Says Yes/No was performed in schools, with the students completing questionnaires after each performance asking about the political ideals presented. The Flight over the Ocean also involved the audience as the active chorus, reading the dialogue to a single performer on stage. In relation to performing Lehrstck to young audiences, Brecht noted: The enormous importance of theatre in the education of children is based on the insight that the stage provides a space that fuses reality and play, a place where learning and entertainment are not separated. Roswitha Mueller notes: The most far-reaching impact of the Lehrstck resides, not in its themes, but in its structural innovation, which aims at a total abolition of the division between performance and audience. There are a lot of counter-arguments and varied interpretations of what Brecht intended to achieve with Lehrstck. As close as one can get in summary is Brechts own admission that: Lehrstck should not be scrutinised for preposition or counterproposition, arguments for or against certain opinions, but only physical exercises meant for the kind of athletes of the mind that good dialecticians should be. Explained in more simple terms: He does not suggest that the politics presented in the works present any formal statement of finality, but rather, should be seen as a starting point for more discussion on issues of politics and ethics.

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    Brechts ability to Distress his audience During the period of Brechts Lehrstck, emotion and near riot greeted virtually everything Brecht had so far done or would ever do in the theatre. Brechts life and the plays which he presented were fast paced and often quite offensive. A riot broke out after at the Baden Baden Music festival when the staging of a man getting his arms, legs and head sawed off (using broomsticks and lots of blood) made many people faint. There were numerous protests and refusals to perform He Who Says Yes and The Measures Taken. The uproar from He Who Says Yes prompted Brecht to write He Who Says No as a counter point, however, this play is rarely performed. To correctly stage a Brecht play, some consideration into how successful and detrimental Brechts To correctly stage a Brecht play, some consideration into how successful and detrimental Brechts To correctly stage a Brecht play, some consideration into how successful and detrimental Brechts To correctly stage a Brecht play, some consideration into how successful and detrimental Brechts uncanny ability to cause his audience distress is integral touncanny ability to cause his audience distress is integral touncanny ability to cause his audience distress is integral touncanny ability to cause his audience distress is integral to the success of the work. the success of the work. the success of the work. the success of the work. This will be partly determined in the design and rehearsal process, however, as a starting point, I should indicate that we will be looking at the sequences where the Coolie is beaten as well as murdered. The intention will be to play out the pathos here and see where it leads in rehearsal. I am also interested in the idea of meta-theatre: the inability for an audience to accurately determine if what is happening on stage is part of the performance or a digression from it. This will be fleshed out more at a later stage as well as in rehearsal. So for example, if an undeterminable action is done well enough, and sustained properly, we may be able to carry it through to a point where the audience is disorientated in terms of what is happening in the play. This for me is the heart of Brechts ideas on alienation.

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    Brecht Sourcebook Edited by Carol Martin and Henry Bial Part one, Chapter five Part one, Chapter five Part one, Chapter five Part one, Chapter five Brechts Concept of Brechts Concept of Brechts Concept of Brechts Concept of Gestus Gestus Gestus Gestus and the American Perfoand the American Perfoand the American Perfoand the American Performance Traditiormance Traditiormance Traditiormance Traditionnnn, Car, Car, Car, Carl Weber l Weber l Weber l Weber (Excerpts taken from pages 43, 44 and 45)(Excerpts taken from pages 43, 44 and 45)(Excerpts taken from pages 43, 44 and 45)(Excerpts taken from pages 43, 44 and 45) Whenever Brechts theory and practice of the theatre are discussed, the focus is mainly on the concept of the Epic Theatre, on alienation, estrangement, distancing, whatever term is preferred and the discussion yields vastly different opinions and often rather imaginative interpretations of what Brecht supposedly did, or intended, as a theorist and practitioner of the theatre. There is, of course, the other term coined by Brecht, Gestus. However, it seems to invite less attention and explication by Brecht scholars. It certainly is not very familiar to actors and directors in the American theatre. I would like to talk about Brechts concept of Gestus and formative influence American performance traditions had on it. The term Gestus appeared first in Brechts writings in a theatre review he wrote in 1920 for a local Augsburg newspaper; he used it then merely to signify body gesture as opposed to the spoken word. It was not until 1929, ten plays and several productions he directed later, that Brecht began to use Gestus and Gestik in the scene which made the concept one of the pillars of his paradigm for the new theatre, Epic Theatre. Eventually, Gestus became to be understood by Brecht, as far as the actor is concerned (there are other applications of the concept, but we are talking about the actor here), as the total process, the ensemble of all physical behaviour the actor displays when showing us a character on stage by way of his/her social interactions. It is an ensemble of the body and its movements and gestures, the face and its mimetic expressions, the voice and its sounds and inflections, speech with its patterns and rhythms, costume, makeup, props, and whatever else the actor employs to achieve the complete image of the role he/she is performing. It was important to Brecht that such Gestus was memorable for an audience, and, consequently quotable. Equally important was that Gestus defined a social position, the characters status and function in society, and that yielded an image of a socially conditioned behaviour that, in turn, conditions the functioning of society. Several performers were specifically cited by Brecht in the context of Gestus. One of these was Karl Valentin, the popular Munich comedian, whose influence on the young Brecht has become almost proverbial by now. Peter Lorre was among them, the Viennese actor Brecht hired for a small part in The Threepenny Opera and, soon after, cast as Galy Gay in his own production of Man is Man. There was Carola Neher, for whom he wrote Polly in Threepenny Opera, sister Lillian in Happy End and Joanna Dark in St Joan of the Stockyards; or Helene Weigel, his second wife, who was his widow Begbick in Man is Man, the Fly in Happy End, and Palegea Vlassova in The Mother. However, the one performer to whom Brecht devoted several essays and whom he mentioned more frequently than any of his German protagonists before 1930 the year his concept of Gestus had become, more or less, definitive was the British/American silent movie star Charlie Chaplin. His films The Face on the Barroom Floor and Gold Rush seemed to have impressed Brecht more than any other movie during the 1920s except Eisensteins Potemkin. Chaplins character, the little tramp, seems to have been the first complete achievement of Gestus that Brecht observed. In 1926, he wrote about Chaplin: This artist is a document that is effective with the power of historical events. As early as 1920, he had described the little tramps face: Chaplins face is always motionless as if it were made of wax. One single mimetic flicker rips it open, quite simply, with power and with effort. A pale clowns face with a thick moustache, the curls of an artist, the tricks of a clown. This sounds like a perfect illustration of Brechts later postulate that the actors face should be an empty face written on by the bodys Gestus.

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    Post-Performance Discussion Questions

    What significant themes are represented in Queensland Theatre Companys production of TTTThehehehe Exception and TException and TException and TException and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule?

    Brecht often explores the themes/issues of capitalism and socialism in his plays. Discuss the

    definitions of socialism and capitalism and identify how Brecht has represented these in The The The The Exception and TException and TException and TException and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule?

    After reading About the Playwright Bertolt Brecht, discuss why he would explore capitalism and

    socialism in his plays. Consider when he was born and his life experiences.

    How is the issue of class represented in the play?

    After reading the Directors Insight by Joseph Mitchell page 8, how did he rework the play to make it relevant for a contemporary audience? Describe scenes, the conventions used, characters and the set and costume design to justify your answer.

    How did you relate to the play? Consider characters, story and the interpretation of the play. Eg

    did you relate more to the character of the Coolie or the Merchant?

    After reading the Designers Insight by Helen Jacobs, and watching Queensland Theatre Companys production of The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule, what is your interpretation of the set and costume design? How did it inform the dramatic meaning and action of the performance?

    Websites of Interest http://www.gnuware.com/dissertation/03%20-%20Chapter%201%20-%20Brechts%20Learning%20Plays.html About Brechts Learning Plays. http://www.theatredatabase.com/20th_century/bertolt_brecht_001.html a comprehensive, chronological timeline of the events that occurred in Brechts lifetime and how they influenced his theories, works, and ideologies http://www.teachit.co.uk/armoore/drama/brecht.htm a summary of Brechts dramatic theories http://www.teachit.co.uk/armoore/drama/brecht.htm#dictionary a glossary of words commonly seen in articles about Brecht or Brechts works http://www.usq.edu.au/PerformanceCentre/education/mothercourage/influences.htm an overview of Brechts political and artistic influences http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/The_Exception_and_the_Rule Brief summary of The The The The Exception and TException and TException and TException and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule and the political and social commentary present in the text

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    Script Excerpt One The Exception and the Rule THE PLAYERS: We are about to tell you

    The story of a journey. An exploiter And two of the exploited are the travellers. Examine carefully the behavior of these people: Find it surprising though not unusual Inexplicable though normal Incomprehensible though it is the rule. Consider even the most insignificant, seemingly simple Action with distrust. Ask yourselves whether it is necessary Especially if it is usual. We ask you expressly to discover That what happens all the time is not natural. For to say that something is natural In such times of bloody confusion Of ordained disorder, of systematic arbitrariness Of inhuman humanity is to Regard it as unchangeable.

    Part 1 - The Race through the Desert A small expedition is hurrying through the desert.A small expedition is hurrying through the desert.A small expedition is hurrying through the desert.A small expedition is hurrying through the desert. MERCHANT: to his two companions, the Guide and the Coolie who is carrying his baggage:to his two companions, the Guide and the Coolie who is carrying his baggage:to his two companions, the Guide and the Coolie who is carrying his baggage:to his two companions, the Guide and the Coolie who is carrying his baggage:

    Hurry, you lazy mules, two days from now we must be at Han Station. That will give us a whole days lead. To the audience: To the audience: To the audience: To the audience: I am Karl Langmann, a merchant. I am going to Urga to conclude arrangements for a concession. My competitors are close behind me. The first comer will get the concession. Thanks to my shrewdness, the energy with which I have overcome all manner of difficulties, and my ruthless treatment of my employees, I have completed this much of the journey in little more than half the usual time. Unfortunately my competitors have been moving just as fast. He looks baHe looks baHe looks baHe looks back through binoculars.ck through binoculars.ck through binoculars.ck through binoculars. See, there they are at our heels again! To the Guide:To the Guide:To the Guide:To the Guide: Why dont you drive the porter harder? I hired you to drive him, but you people expect me to pay you to go for a stroll. Have you any idea what this trip is costing me? Its not your money. But if you sabotage me, Ill report you to the employment office in Urga.

    GUIDE: tttto the Coolie:o the Coolie:o the Coolie:o the Coolie: Try to go faster. MERCHANT: Theres no guts in your voice, youll never be a real guide. I should have taken a

    more expensive one. They keep gaining on us. Why dont you beat the fellow? I dont approve of beating, but at the present time beating is necessary. If I dont get there first, Ill be ruined. This Coolie youve taken is your brother, admit it! Hes a relative, thats why you dont beat him. I know you people. You can be brutal when you want to be. Beat him, or Ill discharge you! You can sue for your wages. Good God, theyre catching up with us!

    COOLIE: to the Guideto the Guideto the Guideto the Guide: Beat me, but not with all your strength, because Ill never get to

    Han Station if I have to call on all my strength now. The Guide beats the Coolie. The Guide beats the Coolie. The Guide beats the Coolie. The Guide beats the Coolie. OTHER: cries from the party behind:cries from the party behind:cries from the party behind:cries from the party behind: Ho There! Is this the way to Urga? Hey, were

    friendly! Wait for us!

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    MERCHANT: does not answer or look backdoes not answer or look backdoes not answer or look backdoes not answer or look back: The devil take you! Forward! Ill drive my men for

    three days, two days with insults, the third day with promises. When we reach Urga well see. My competitors are still at my heels but tomorrow Ill march all night, that will lose them, and Ill be in Han Station on the third day, one day sooner than anyone else.

    He sings: He sings: He sings: He sings: Going without sleep gives me a comfortable lead Driving my men adds that much to my speed The weakling falls behind and the strong man wins out.

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    Script Excerpt Two The Exception and the Rule MERCHANT: Why are you stopping? COOLIE: The road has stopped, sir. MERCHANT: Hm. COOLIE: If you hit me, sir, dont hit my bad arm. I dont know the way. MERCHANT: But the man at Han Station explained it to you. COOLIE: Yes, sir. MERCHANT: When I asked you if you understood him, you said yes. COOLIE: Yes, sir. MERCHANT: And you hadnt understood? COOLIE: No, sir. MERCHANT: Then why did you say yes? COOLIE: I was afraid youd send me away. All I know is that I should keep close to the

    water-holes. MERCHANT: Then keep close to the water-holes. COOLIE: But I dont know where they are. MERCHANT: Keep going! And dont try to put anything over on me. I know youve come this

    way before. They go on.They go on.They go on.They go on. COOLIE: Wouldnt it be better if we waited for the party behind us? MERCHANT: No. They go on. They go on. They go on. They go on. MERCHANT: Where do you think youre going? Now were heading north. East is over there.

    The Coolie goes on to the eastThe Coolie goes on to the eastThe Coolie goes on to the eastThe Coolie goes on to the east. Stop! Whats got into you? The Coolie stops but The Coolie stops but The Coolie stops but The Coolie stops but doesnt look at the Merchantdoesnt look at the Merchantdoesnt look at the Merchantdoesnt look at the Merchant. Why dont you look me in the eye?

    COOLIE I thought this was the east. MERCHANT: Just wait, you bastard! Ill teach you how to guide me. He beats himHe beats himHe beats himHe beats him. Now do you

    know which way is east? COOLIE: howlinghowlinghowlinghowling: Not on my arm. MERCHANT: Which way is east?

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    COOLIE: That way. MERCHANT: And where are the water-holes? COOLIE: That way. MERCHANT: beside himself with rage:beside himself with rage:beside himself with rage:beside himself with rage: That way? But you were going that way. COOLIE: No, sir. MERCHANT: Oh, you werent going that way? Were you going that way? He He He He

    beats himbeats himbeats himbeats him. COOLIE: Yes, sir. MERCHANT: Where are the water-holes? The Coolie is silent. The Merchant, seemingly calmThe Coolie is silent. The Merchant, seemingly calmThe Coolie is silent. The Merchant, seemingly calmThe Coolie is silent. The Merchant, seemingly calm:

    But you just said you know where the water-holes were. Do you know? The The The The Coolie is silent. The Merchant beats him.Coolie is silent. The Merchant beats him.Coolie is silent. The Merchant beats him.Coolie is silent. The Merchant beats him. Do you know?

    COOLIE: Yes. MERCHANT: Beats himBeats himBeats himBeats him. Do you know? COOLIE: No. MERCHANT: Give me your water bottle. The Coolie does so.The Coolie does so.The Coolie does so.The Coolie does so. Now I could take the attitude that

    all the water belongs to me, because you have guided me wrong. But I wont: Ill share the water with you. Take your swallow, and then well go on. To himselfTo himselfTo himselfTo himself: I forgot myself. I shouldnt have beaten him in this situation.

    They go on.They go on.They go on.They go on. MERCHANT: Weve been here before. Look, our tracks. COOLIE: When we were here, we couldnt have been very far off the route. MERCHANT: Pitch the tent. Our bottle is empty. Theres nothing in my bottle.

    The Merchant sits down while the Coolie pitches the tent. The Merchant drinksThe Merchant sits down while the Coolie pitches the tent. The Merchant drinksThe Merchant sits down while the Coolie pitches the tent. The Merchant drinksThe Merchant sits down while the Coolie pitches the tent. The Merchant drinks secretly from his bottle. To Himselfsecretly from his bottle. To Himselfsecretly from his bottle. To Himselfsecretly from his bottle. To Himself: I mustnt let him notice that Ive still got water. If he does and has a glimmer of sense in that skull of his, hell strike me dead. If he comes near me, Ill shoot. He draws his revolver and puts it in his lap. He draws his revolver and puts it in his lap. He draws his revolver and puts it in his lap. He draws his revolver and puts it in his lap. If we could only get to the last water-hole! Its as if I had a rope around my neck. How long can a man hold out against thirst?

    COOLIE: Ill have to hand over the bottle the guide gave me at the station. Because if they

    find us and Im still alive and hes half dead, theyll put me on trial. He takes the bottle and goes toward the Merchant. The Merchant suddenly sees the Coolie standing in He takes the bottle and goes toward the Merchant. The Merchant suddenly sees the Coolie standing in He takes the bottle and goes toward the Merchant. The Merchant suddenly sees the Coolie standing in He takes the bottle and goes toward the Merchant. The Merchant suddenly sees the Coolie standing in front of him and doesnt know whether or not the Coolie has seen him drinking. The Coolie has not seen front of him and doesnt know whether or not the Coolie has seen him drinking. The Coolie has not seen front of him and doesnt know whether or not the Coolie has seen him drinking. The Coolie has not seen front of him and doesnt know whether or not the Coolie has seen him drinking. The Coolie has not seen him drinking. him drinking. him drinking. him drinking. The Coolie holds out the bottle in silence. But the Merchant, mistaking the bottle for a big The Coolie holds out the bottle in silence. But the Merchant, mistaking the bottle for a big The Coolie holds out the bottle in silence. But the Merchant, mistaking the bottle for a big The Coolie holds out the bottle in silence. But the Merchant, mistaking the bottle for a big stone and thinking the Coolie is enraged and means to hit him with it, utters a loud cry. stone and thinking the Coolie is enraged and means to hit him with it, utters a loud cry. stone and thinking the Coolie is enraged and means to hit him with it, utters a loud cry. stone and thinking the Coolie is enraged and means to hit him with it, utters a loud cry. MERCHANT: Drop that stone! And when the Coolie, who does not understanAnd when the Coolie, who does not understanAnd when the Coolie, who does not understanAnd when the Coolie, who does not understand, continues to d, continues to d, continues to d, continues to

    hold out the bottle, the Merchant shoots him deadhold out the bottle, the Merchant shoots him deadhold out the bottle, the Merchant shoots him deadhold out the bottle, the Merchant shoots him dead. I was right! You beast! Thats what you get.

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    Classroom Activities FORMINGFORMINGFORMINGFORMING Compose a photograph with your students. Take the students through the elements of character status.

    Begin with the class walking around the space exploring how their body changes when they are a dominant character Where does their head sit on their shoulders? How do their arms move? How do their feet touch the ground? Are their shoulders sitting forwards or back? How do they look or interact with others?

    Then take the students through what it means physically to be a submissive character.

    Once the students understand what it means to change their body to suit a status of a character, find a volunteer to begin the photograph. Give the student a status and ask them to use the space in such a way that expresses this status. They are to freeze in the position for the remaining time of the exercise.

    Give another student a status and ask them to take the space in relation to the other character. You could choose to make it a competition and see who can think laterally and become the most dominant character or submissive character in the space.

    Continue asking students to take on a status in relation to the space and the other characters and examine what makes one character more dominant than another.

    RESPONDINGRESPONDINGRESPONDINGRESPONDING, FORMING, FORMING, FORMING, FORMING AND PERFORMING AND PERFORMING AND PERFORMING AND PERFORMING In pairs take on the role of either Coolie or Merchant. Read through excerpt one on page 15. The pair are to present an improvised, interpretation of the scene using status. The teacher directs the students through the improvised scene, asking students to change their status at poignant moments and continue the scene, each character working off each others changed status. This activity will allow the students to explore how status can affect the relationship between characters, the interpretation of the story and role. RESPONDING AND PRESENTINGRESPONDING AND PRESENTINGRESPONDING AND PRESENTINGRESPONDING AND PRESENTING Ask the students to read through the script excerpts on pages 15 and 17 and interpret them using the following conventions. Silent MovieSilent MovieSilent MovieSilent Movie Three actors take the stage. Two actors tell the story through silent action. They are to work together, improvising the actions and ensuring they are offering ideas, as well as taking offers. The third actor stands to the side and narrates the action, interpreting what the actors are presenting. Game Show Game Show Game Show Game Show Students present the excerpt/s as a game show. They can choose to include other characters other than those in the excerpts to assist in telling the story, using the game show convention. Reality TVReality TVReality TVReality TV Ask students to relate the excerpt/s to their own lives, or create a stereotypical scene of teenagers. They are to consider who the Coolie and Merchant might represent in their lives, and present an interpretation of the scene using these real characters. RadioRadioRadioRadio After listening to Orson Welles, War of the Worlds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUBisKB5l98&feature=related write and produce a radio play that is of similar dramatic style and presents an interpretation of the script excerpt/s. Consider the context you will use for the story.

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    Suggested Assessment FORMING AND PRESENTING Using script excerpt two, page 17, students can devise a performance demonstrating a range of conventions using Brechtian Theatre techniques and conventions. The students are to consider Brechts Lehrstck plays. His Learning Plays. They are to consider the idea of drawing the audience in as a means of instruction, while also ensuring that they are reminded that what happens on the stage is artificial. They are to interpret the script and arrange the performance in such a way that makes political and social comment, challenging their audience, as well as entertaining them. They can consider the exercises in Classroom Activities as a guide to interpret the script and include conventions such as film and radio. Students will firstly need to consider what Brecht was trying to achieve and say in the script excerpt. They will need to research his approach to theatre, directing and writing to inform their vision for their performance. RESPONDINGRESPONDINGRESPONDINGRESPONDING Read the following Directors Notes by Joseph MitchellRead the following Directors Notes by Joseph MitchellRead the following Directors Notes by Joseph MitchellRead the following Directors Notes by Joseph Mitchell NOTES FROM EARLY FEBRUARY 2009 John Willet describes the idea of Alienation in English as: To make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. I kept thinking about this while re-reading the play and my own notes which identify that Brechts plays were often distressing and challenging for his audiences. So, for me to tell this story I want to update Brechts uncanny ability to frustrate, surprise, enthrall and occasionally disturb his audience. Traditional Brechtian ideas no longer do this because all the things he is known for are common ground in the theatre today. So therefore my key area of interest for this production is that there are two contrasting identities for Brecht in the theatre today. Firstly the more known academic and education based Brecht which focuses on using ideas and techniques which have been accepted over time as Brechtian (direct address, gesture, alienation etc) and secondly that the theatre was not a movie theatre and that anything could happen the live element of a production itself would be the defining character of the experience. I want to capture these two sides of Brecht in our production. LATE FEBRUARY 2009 General Structure Id like to consider staging the play as follows: Using four actors in the following roles:

    o Merchant o Coolie o Guide o Judge and all other roles

    Set Design The design will be a school classroom. This plays on the ideas of the first part of the play being based in Lehrstck (learning play) as well as the idea that we are doing an Education Performance. It plays on instructional elements of the language as well as explores the nature of Brechts own personality as an uncontrollable school boy. We will use chalk boards and school desks to create a range of images required in the script such as a bridge, a river, various rooms, tents camping grounds etc.

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    This of course, will be subverted and ignored as the play goes on by the actors themselves, who will not be instructed to play school students, but rather, concentrate on the roles of beings actors in a space with a live audience. After viewing Queensland Theatre Companys production of The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule, reading the script of The Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and TThe Exception and The Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule, reading Joseph Mitchells Directors Insight, page 8 and Directors Notes, page 11 and 20, write a script analysis that focuses on the directors point of view. Consider the set and costume design, Mitchells interpretation of the text and what was included in the script, outside of the original text. Identify and discuss Brechts reasons for writing The Exception and The Exception and The Exception and The Exception and TTTThe Rulehe Rulehe Rulehe Rule and his approach to theatre. You are to analyse, evaluate and synthesise how the dramatic language and action was approached and interpreted for a contemporary youth audience.

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    Set Model Box

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