Written by Tim Winton, Cloudstreet is a riveting tale of two families in one house fighting to stay alive in their own different ways. This story of human survival highlights the themes of gender and class among many others that introduced the exploration of epic theatre. In this task, an understanding of Cloudstreet and its context as well as the application of epic theatre were interwoven to challenge our abilities in demonstrating them in our final performance.
For our first task, we began to explore an entirely new style of drama "Epic Theatre. Growing up in a middle class family and inspired by expressionism and communism ideals, Brecht revolutionised the course of modern European theatre in his creation of a completely new form of theatre. In order to understand him, there are two keys "realism and Marxism. As a socially and historically confined cultural concept, realism offers a window view on the world while Marxism springs from communism ideals of equality between all people and the non-existence of social stratification that proves to be a major difficulty in this play. Inspired by these principles, Brecht formed epic theatre that, as he puts it, "turns the spectator into an observer, but arouses his capacity for action, forces him to take decisions- with a purpose to educate instead of entertain. The chief technique that he employs is alienation of "the mimetic and gestural expression of the social relationships prevailing between people-. For a full explanation on the techniques of epic theatre please refer to notes on epic theatre in the drama folio.
As all texts are constructs of the context they are based on, it is crucial that the context is examined as to how it is contrasted or reflected in a text. While Winton's Cloudstreet is presented from the point of view of two white' Australian families, several aboriginal values and beliefs can be found being mirrored in the text.