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Brecht biographer Werner Mittenzwei passed away on 14 February 2014 in Berlin.  Born in 1927, he was the founding director of the Central Institute for Literary History of the Academy of Sciences in East Berlin.  He also was a dramaturgical consultant to the Berliner Ensemble in the 1970s and 1980s.  He published a two-volume Brecht biography (Das Leben des Bertolt Brecht oder Der Umgang mit den Welträtseln, 1986) and was a member of the editorial team of the 30-volume Berliner/Frankfurter Brecht edition (1988-2000).

Der Brecht-Biograph Werner Mittenzwei ist am 14. Februar 2014 in Berlin verstorben.  1927 geboren, war Gründungsmitglied des Zentralinstituts für Literaturgeschichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR.  In den 70er und 80er Jahren war er auch dramaturgischer Mitarbeiter am Berliner Ensemble.  Seine 2-bändige Brecht Biographie – Das Leben des Bertolt Brecht oder Der Umgang mit den Welträtseln – ist 1986 im Osten (Aufbau) und 1987 im Westen (Suhrkamp) erschienen; er war auch Mitherausgeber der Grossen Kommentierten Berliner und Frankfurter Ausgabe von Brechts Werken (1988-2000).

Stephen Parker's new biography of Brecht has just appeared:
Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life (Bloomsbury, 2014), 704 pp.
See the review in The Independent (London, 14 Feb. 2014).

Questions about English-language performance rights of Brecht's plays? Click here for more details.

Drama Online is a new portal for Internet access to the works of major playwrights, including Bertolt Brecht in English translation.  For information, see:
For the 25+ selections by Brecht:

Brecht's Works in English: A Bibliography
Check this new website with over 2750 entries if you are looking for Brecht's plays, poems, songs, stories, or essays in English translation:

The digital Brecht Yearbook, vols. 1-33 (1971-2008) / Das Brecht-Jahrbuch digital, Bd. 1-33 (1971-2008):

The Kurt Weill Foundation Grant Program awards financial support worldwide to not-for-profit organizations for performances of musical works by Kurt Weill and Marc Blitzstein, to individuals and not-for-profit organizations for scholarly research pertaining to Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, and Marc Blitzstein, and to not-for-profit organizations for relevant educational initiatives. For more information and guidelines, see:
or call New York City: (212) 505-5240


The Modern Language Association will hold its annual convention in Vancouver (Canada) from 8-11 January 2015.  As usual, the IBS will sponsor two sessions and conduct a business meeting. 

#1 - Brecht, Protest, Youth
Thursday, 8 January 2015, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 16 Vancouver Convention Center East
Moderator, Theodore Rippey (Bowling Green State University)
Martin Kagel (University of Georgia), Galy Gay in My Lai: George Tabori's Punkville
Sarah Moon (University of Connecticut, Storrs), Brecht and the Unmensch: Armor for Protest in the 21st Century
Carolos Vargas-Salgado (Whitman College), Brechtian Challenges to Theatre Artists during the Internal Armed Conflict in Peru
Laura Günters (University of Sydney), 'Good Woman should have been done in one of our big theatres long before this': Students, the Playwright and the Birth of Modern Theatre in Australia
Respondent, Kristopher Imbrigotta (University of Puget Sound, Tacoma)

#2 - Brecht, Music, and Opera
Saturday, 10 January 2015, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 13 Vancouver Convention Center East
A collaborative session with the MLA Discussion Group on Opera as Literary and Dramatic Form
Moderator, Elena Pnevmonidou (University of Victoria, British Columbia)
Stephen Hinton (Stanford University), Dramaturgical Counterpoint and the Narratives of Epic Opera
John Gabriel (Harvard University), From Jonny spielt auf to Die Massnahme: Brecht's Lehrstücke and the Influence of Zeitoper
Minou Arjomand (Boston University), Brecht's Sacred Music
Paul Peters (McGill University), Beyond Opera and Musical: The Unfulfilled Legacy of Eisler and Weill
Respondent, Matthew W. Smith (Stanford University)

IBS Business Meeting
Friday, 9 January 2015, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m., Guu-Izakaya Japanese Restaurant (in Gastown)
105-375 Water Street (near the Convention Center)

IBS Election
Every two years elections for the steering committee of the International Brecht Society take place.  The nominees for 2014-2015 have been elected:
Alle zwei Jahre findet die Wahl des Vorstands der Internationalen Brecht-Gesellschaft statt. Die Kandidatenliste für 2014-2015 wurde gewählt:

Stephen Brockmann, President (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA)
Günther Heeg, Vice President (Universität Leipzig, BRD)
Andy Spencer, Editor of 'Communications' (Ohio State University, Columbus, USA)
Paula Hanssen, Secretary/Treasurer (Webster University, St. Louis, USA)