April 12, 2021

Epic Theatre movement to take center stage in Purdue production of ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’

Note to journalists: Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University’s Department of Theatre is presenting “Mother Courage and Her Children” by Bertolt Brecht. This weekend’s production will be available virtually April 16-18 from the Nancy T. Hansen Theatre in Pao Hall in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance.

Directed by Ann M. Shanahan, associate professor and chair of the department, “Mother Courage” is the final production in the department’s 2020-21 season.

Because of COVID-19, Purdue Theatre has reshaped its original production plans to explore new digital formats that deliver innovative educational and professional training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as audiences.

The opening night performance will be livestreamed at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday (April 16) followed by three subsequent webcasts of the live recording at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday (April 17) and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (April 18).

The livestream for “Mother Courage” will be created using a three-camera setup by Hall of Music Productions.  

Tickets can be purchased at the campus Loeb Playhouse box office, by phone at 765-494-3933 or online, and are $17.50 (livestream) and $12.50 (digital recording).

Considered by critics to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century, “Mother Courage” chronicles the story of Anna Fierling (named “Courage”) and her children as they struggle to survive in wartime, selling provisions from a canteen wagon. Despite their bravery, honesty and kindness, one by one she loses her children to the war.

“War, which is a continuation of business by other means,” Brecht wrote, “makes the human virtues fatal even to their possessors.”

The play is a powerful example of Brecht’s Epic Theatre, a revolutionary stagecraft designed to focus not on the faults of individual characters, but on social and economic circumstances and the inherent contradictions of capitalism.

Scenic design is by Kate Cardinalli (Purdue MFA scenic design ’21); costume design is by Caroline Lucille Rein (Purdue MFA costume design ’21); lighting design is by Baxter Carlisle Chambers (Purdue MFA lighting design ’21); and sound design is by John Chung (Purdue BA, sound for the performing arts ’21). The work for “Mother Courage” is the terminal design project for Cardinalli, Rein and Chambers, as well as senior capstone projects for Chung and technical designers Caroline Kester and Oli Martinez-Rice.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Source: Jodi Taylor, Department of Theatre marketing and outreach specialist, joditaylor@purdue.edu 

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