Video design for the new production of Bertolt Brecht’s 1932 play THE MOTHER by The Wooster Group

After a year’s delay due to the global pandemic, THE MOTHER premiered in June 2021 at Wiener Festwochen, the festival’s only theater piece from the United States. Brecht conceived of THE MOTHER as a “learning play,” intended to both entertain with its clear, plainspoken language and musical numbers, and to incite social change. Brecht addressed the play mainly to working class women. It tells a story of a poor, uneducated Russian mother’s journey to revolutionary action. The play premiered in Berlin in 1932 and was the last of Brecht’s plays to open in Germany before the Nazis seized power. Our modern American interpretation of THE MOTHER evokes parallels between contemporary political unrest and the socialist revolutions that inspired Brecht.

Photo by Maria Baranova