Brecht – Drums in the Night – premiere and history

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Place Category: Cultural Events, History, and TheatrePlace Tags: Brecht, Drums in the night, and premiere

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  • In 1918, Brecht’s studies were temporarily interrupted when he was conscripted and had to serve as a medical orderly in World War I. During this period, he wrote his second play, Drums in the Night, which tells the story of a soldier who returns home from the war to find his fiancée engaged to a war profiteer. This was the first of Brecht’s plays to be performed, and his theatrical theories had, apparently, already begun to take shape, for he filled the auditorium with banners instructing the audience not to become too emotionally involved in the proceedings. Drums in the Night, which premiered at the Munich Kammerspiele in 1922, drew rave reviews from Herbert Ihering, and even earned Brecht the Kleist Prize, Germany’s highest award for dramatic writing. Thus Brecht, from the very beginning, found himself in the spotlight. That same year, the promising young dramatist married the opera singer and actress Marianne Zoff. Their daughter, Hanne Hiob, born in 1923, would become a famous German actress.

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