it was evident that the general postulates of the epic theatre are well-known. (The theory however does not always manifest itself in practice, as is clear from many performances in Delhi.) On the other hand performances of two didactic plays (The Exception and the Rule and The Measures Taken) clearly showed that they were done without any background information on the theory of the didactic plays. It is very often also not known that these plays differ from the plays of the epic theatre and that the didactic theatre has a different theoretical framework from that of the epic theatre. A systematic study and analysis of the didactic theatre becomes necessary in this context.
Between 1929 and 1931 Brecht wrote five relatively short plays, which he called didactic plays.1 Having established the pedagogical intentions of these plays through the term given to them, Brecht proceeds to specify the pedagogical aims which are integrated into the elements of the didactic theatre and which are best brought out through a description of these elements.
The most important aspect of the didactic theatre which must be understood, before its other features are dealt with, is the fact that the term 'didactic play' is valid only for those plays from which the actors themselves learn. The pedagogical intentions of the didactic plays manifest themselves only in the actual acting process. A spectator who is a mere observer and who does not take active part cannot undergo the same learning-process. Brecht describes the didactic plays as "art for producers, not for consumers" 2, thus attacking the passive attitude of the recipient in the bourgeois theatre.
The common feature of all didactic plays lies furthermore in their practical orientation towards experimentation with forms of social behaviour. On the basis of construed situations in theatre, different modes of behaviour - as a reaction to these situations - are critically enacted and discussed, in order to establish their fitness and relevance to the particular situation. The situations themselves vary from instances of revolutionary class struggle (Measures Taken) to those connected with the emerging social formation of the collective (The Ocean Flight and DOS Badener Lehrstueck vom Einverstaendnis),
In the process of experimentation with forms of social behaviour, emphasis is laid on the necessity of both action and observation. The unity of these two factors is based on the conceptual unity of theory and praxis, and one of the pedagogical aims of the didactic theatre is a correct and practical understanding of this dialectic. Brecht proceeds
2^ January - March 1983