Señora Carrar's Rifles

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Señora Carrar's Rifles (German: Die Gewehre der Frau Carrar) is a one-act play by the twentieth-century German dramatist Bertolt Brecht, written in collaboration with Margarete Steffin.[1] It is a modern version of the Irish dramatist John Millington Synge's play Riders to the Sea (1904). The play's setting is re-located to Spain during the height of the Civil War. Teresa Carrar, the mother, wants to protect her children but ends up fighting on the side of the oppressed. Brecht wrote it in 1937 and it received its first theatrical production in the same year, opening in Paris on 16 October. This production was directed by Slatan Dudow and Helene Weigel played Señora Carrar.[2]

Its form is more traditional than most of Brecht's other "epic" plays. It is written entirely in the Aristotelian mode and uses dramatic illusion, prose dialogue and a non-epic structure. It became the most frequently performed play in East Germany because it violated Brecht's anti-empathetic theories and conformed to the approved Socialist realist model of dramatic form.[citation needed]

Works cited[edit]

  • Willett, John. 1967. The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht: A Study from Eight Aspects. Third ed. London: Methuen. ISBN 0-413-34360-X.


  1. ^ She is acknowledged in the 1955 Collected Works.
  2. ^ Willett (1959, 45-46).