During this period, he wrote his second play, Drums in the Night, which tells the story of a soldier who returns home from the war to find his fiancée engaged to a war profiteer.
In February 1933, however, Bertolt Brecht's career was suddenly and violently interrupted as the Nazis came to power in Germany.
The night after the Reichstag (German parliament building) was burned down, Brecht wisely fled with his family to Prague.
Drums in the Night, which premiered at the Munich Kammerspiele in 1922, drew rave reviews from Herbert Ihering, and even earned Brecht the Kleist Prize, Germany's highest award for dramatic writing.
Thus Brecht, from the very beginning, found himself in the spotlight.
Each day the text would be viewed afresh as Brecht the director denounced (half in jest but half seriously) Brecht the playwright. " he would ask rhetorically, and would scribble new lines, new scenes, new acts and insist these be learned immediately.
Brecht Techniques Essay
So changing would the chameleon be, that Brecht the theorist would openly fight with Brecht the director, Brecht the poet, Brecht the playwright and Brecht the blatant womanizer.In 1932 he worked on a script for a semi-documentary feature-length film about the suffering caused by the then-rampant mass unemployment that was plaguing Germany.This film, Kuhle Wampe was effective in its subversive humor and still provides a vivid insight into the final years of the Weimar Republic.In fact, The Threepenny Opera would go on to become the biggest theatrical hit in Berlin during the 1920s and helped lead the way in a worldwide resurgence of the popularities of musicals in general.(It would also do much to fatten the playwright's checkbook!His books and plays were soon banned in Germany and those who dared stage his plays found their productions unpleasantly interrupted by the police.The exiled dramatist bounced around from Prague to Vienna to Zurich to the island of Fyn to Finland, where he lived for a while in Villa Marlebäck as a guest of the Finnish author Hella Wuolijoki.Many in fact were drunk and liquor bottles piled up in every corner backstage."In 1924, after receiving productions of The Jungle of Cities at Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theater and Edward II at the Prussian State Theatre, Brecht moved to Berlin, a move he deemed necessary to continue his dramatic career.During the next few years, Brecht produced a string of well-received plays, the most popular of which was probably The Threepenny Opera, which he adapted from John Gay's The Beggar's Opera along with composer Kurt Weill.He was an indifferent student, however, and was very nearly expelled from Augsburg Grammar School for taking a dismissive, anti-patriotic tone when given an assignment to write an essay with the title "It is a sweet and honourable thing to die for one's country."In 1917 Brecht enrolled as a medical student at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where he would attend Arthur Kutscher's theatre seminar.Although Kutscher had a reputation as something of a theatrical guru, Brecht was unimpressed. The impetuous young Brecht suggested that he himself could write a better play on the same subject.