by Bertolt Brecht
Music by Hanns Eisler
Direction: Peter Kleinert
Co-production with the University of Dramatic Arts »Ernst Busch« Berlin
A small provincial town in Russia, early last century. Workers and factory owners come to bitter blows over fair wages and working conditions. Young Pavel and a group of youthful revolutionaries get their teeth into Marxist theory and become convinced that the prevailing injustice is intolerable and that the world must be changed. They take control of their destiny – despite tribulations, harassment and arrests. Pelagea Vlassova, Pavel’s mother covertly begins to work for the young revolutionary cell. Gradually, and with lots of wit, heart, common sense and optimism, the apolitical mother starts to rebel against the oppression of the proletariat. She learns to read and write and refuses to cease fighting for better conditions even when her son falls victim to the fight. She becomes the mother of an entire movement. In his didactic play of 1932, »The Mother« – based on Maxim Gorki’s eponymous novel – Bertolt Brecht sings the praises of emancipation, learning and rebellion for a more humane future.
Together with an ensemble of early-career students from the »Ernst Busch« Academy of Dramatic Art and the actress Ursula Werner, from 1974 to 2009 protagonist and member of Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theatre ensemble, Peter Kleinert and his team use this play to look at today’s world – a world which is in increasingly dire need of revolution and change – from the perspective of a time when the utopian dream of a domination-free society still seemed possible.
Musician: Mark Scheibe / Hans-Jürgen Osmers
Duration: ca. 135 minutes
Premiered on 13 January 2016