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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mother Courage is not quite like this.

Anyone see Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks when you were little? I came across this video while I was looking for YouTube clips that might be relevant to MoCo. I watched it and laughed, and thought, "Wow. Really awesome, but not relevant."

But you know, in a funny way, see, it is relevant. It's one of the many, many ways that war has been treated in theatre/film. We've had some other great examples around Philly recently. Just last month, Temple's grad program produced a powerful production of In Conflict, a play about the war in Iraq. InterAct is currently doing Last of the Boys, which wrestles with the aftermath of Vietnam. Mother Courage was Brecht's way of using the Thirty Years War to comment on what was going on around him during WWII. Each a very different approach to a similar topic, and each with its own unique impact.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks was made in 1971, but set during WWII. As a Disney film, it had much more to do with escapism (ex., children who fly out of a warzone on a magical bed, and who later "magic" household items into battling some easily-confused Germans) than with epic theatre. (Okay, let's be honest: It has nothing to do with epic theatre.) All the same, it makes you think: How did I process the concept of war when I was little? How do I process it now? And how does the art I participate in help me do that? Come to think of it, can it hinder the process? Wait ... what is the process?

And finally, where'd Angela Lansbury get those moves, and will someone please, please incorporate them into a Solo Performance assignment?


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