The Threepenny Opera
by Bertolt Brecht
The Threepenny Opera, an adaptation of The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay, was written by Brecht in 1928 and debuted in Berlin in the same year to become a great hit. Set in the slums of early twentieth century London, in a world of corruption and questionable morals, teaming with low-lifes and prostitutes. In this dense underworld, popular delinquent Mackie Messer marries Polly, daughter of Peachum, the boss of London's beggars, who, not approving of the union, decides to have the criminal hanged. But he will have to get it past the head of police, Tiger Brown, Messer's friend and ally.
This, in short, is the story. But the originality of the piece lies in its structure and the use of a wide variety of theater genres to convey a revolutionary message: power is often tied to crime and needs to be structured around illegal behavior, if not directly linked to criminality. We must also keep in mind that The Threepenny Opera was written in a Germany that, soon after, would see the rise of Nazism. And so, the anti-heroes of the story use commedy, tragedy, farse, cabaret and musical languages to tell tell their story in a corrosive pill that binds word and music indissolubly.
We will, naturally, begin with the songs and music of Kurt Weil before exploring the psychadelic rock of The Doors and Jim Morrison, themselves inspired by the work of the German composer.
We are convinced that a story of this kind, rich with content, language and a variety of characters, will offer students of the theater workshop a fun and gratifying experience that allows them to experiment with their abilities and creativity.
Acting, dancing and singing are all key elements to this year's production that we hope, at the end of the year, as Brecht himself wrote, will help students to learn the greatest art of them all: that of knowing how to live.
To participate, students need only attend the first rehearsal with director Ferdinando Ceriani.
Rehearsals will generally be held on Thursday nights on the Viale Pola campus from 8:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. in Room 10 A and B.
- November: 14, 21, 28
- December: 5, 12, 19 (could be cancelled for Christmas break)
- January: 9, 16, 23, 30
- February: 6, 13, 20, 27
- March: 3, 6 (Friday), 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 31
- April: 2, 7, 9, 14 (could be cancelled for Easter break), 16, 21, 23, 28, 30 (could be cancelled for Labor Day celebrations)
- May: 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21
Dress rehearsal: Sunday, May 24, 2020
Performances: May 25-27, 2020