Title: SFLC Program Meeting: The Exception and the Rule – Play by Bertolt Brecht
Location: Plumbers’ Hall ~ 1621 Market Street, SF
Start Time: 7:30 PM
Description: Stanford Summer Theatre (SST) presents Bertolt Brecht’s Exception and the Rule, directed by Rush Rehm. In the late 1920s, the great German playwright Bertolt Brecht (1858-1956) began working on “learning plays” (Lehrstücke), short theater pieces written specifically for workers and students. The Exception and the Rule (1931-2) is such a play, although it was not staged in Germany during Brecht’s lifetime.
The Exception and the Rule has particular relevance to the labor movement. Instead of thinking about individual psychology, or pointing out the obvious inequalities in wealth distribution, Brecht’s play goes for the jugular: What kind of ethics will a capitalist system produce? Which ethical dilemmas will it value, and which will it fail to recognize? What behavior will emerge from a system in which maximizing corporate profits, personal income, and ownership of private property represent the greatest values?
Brecht wrote The Exception and the Rule as a way of encouraging workers to unionize and recognize the forces they were up against. A funny, highly physical, and thought-provoking parable about wealth and exploitation, The Exception and the Rule packs a wallop, and all in 60 minutes!