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The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Bentley)

The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Bentley)
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Bertolt Brecht
Translated by: Eric Bentley
Publisher: University Of Minnesota Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 136
Pub. Date: 1998
ISBN-10: 0816635285
ISBN-13: 9780816635283

About the Play:

The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a full-length drama by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Eric Bentley. A peasant girl steals a baby to raise and ultimately becomes a better parent than the child's birth parents, in one of Bertolt Brecht's most frequently performed plays.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a parable inspired by the Chinese play Chalk Circle. Written when Bertolt Brecht was living in exile in the U.S. during World War II, the story is set in the Causasus Mountains of Georgia, and retells the tale of King Solomon and a child claimed by two mothers. A chalk circle is metaphorically drawn around a society misdirected by its priorities. Bertolt Brecht's statements about class are cloaked in the innocence of a fable that whispers insistently to the audience.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle received its first production in the spring of 1948 when Eric Bentley's English translation premiered at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. The play would not be presented in the original German until 1954, when Bertolt Brecht himself produced it with his Berliner Ensemble. Successful runs in Paris, London, and Moscow followed, and the play finally received its promised Broadway production in 1966.

Cast: 14 women, 39 men, plus 4 women or men

About the Playwright:

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director. One of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century, he left Germany in 1933 when Hitler came to power. He lived in the United States for seven years, settling with his family in Santa Monica and New York and continuing to work on plays and films. After the war he returned to Germany, where he founded the Berliner Ensemble. He is best known for his classic plays The Threepenny Opera, The Life of Galileo, Mother Courage and Her Children, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle as well as many others.

Eric Bentley (1916-2020) was a British-born American drama critic and translator. He received his BA at Oxford University and PhD at Yale University. In 2006, he received an Obie award for lifetime achievement. Throughout his long and distinguished career, he was perhaps best known as one of the preeminent experts on Bertolt Brecht.