Category Archives: Events

REMAINS OF EARLIEST PURPOSE-BUILT PLAYHOUSE FOUND IN EAST LONDON ·

(Mark Brown’s article appeared in the Guardian, 6/10.)

Location of the Red Lion, which predated the Globe, has been subject of debate for years

Archaeologists believe they have found remains of one of the most elusive of all known Elizabethan structures – the earliest purpose-built playhouse in Britain and a prototype for a theatre that staged plays by a young William Shakespeare.

The Red Lion is thought to have been built around 1567 and probably played host to travelling groups of players. Its precise location has been the subject of conjecture and debate for a number of years, but archaeologists are as certain as they can be that they have found its remains at a site in the East End of London where a self-storage facility once stood.

“It is not what I was expecting when I turned up to do an excavation in Whitechapel, I have to be honest,” said Stephen White, the lead archaeologist on a team from UCL Archaeology South-East. “This is one of the most extraordinary sites I’ve worked on.”

The Red Lion playhouse was created by John Brayne, who nine years later went on to construct the Theatre in Shoreditch with James Burbage, the father of the Elizabethan actor Richard Burbage. The Theatre was the first permanent home for acting troupes and staged plays by Shakespeare in 1590. After a dispute it was dismantled and its timbers used in the construction of the more famous Globe on Bankside.

Before the Globe and the Theatre, there was the Red Lion, which was in effect a prototype, said White.

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***** ‘PASS OVER’ REVIEW – SPIKE LEE DIRECTS ANTOINETTE NWANDU’S MASTERFUL TRAGEDY ·

(Arifa Akbar’s article appeared in the Guardian, 6/3; on Michael Hill in Pass Over. Photograph: Amazon Prime Video.)

5 / 5 stars5 out of 5 stars. 

Available online
Lee’s 2018 film of Nwandu’s powerful play, written as a response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, resonates after the George Floyd killing

(Arifa Akbar’s article appeared in the Guardian, 6/3; on Michael Hill in Pass Over. Photograph: Amazon Prime Video.)

Two homeless men in Spike Lee’s film who inhabit a shabby street corner fear for their lives, although there is no visible threat. They joke and banter, but terror buzzes beneath the repartee. One keeps vigil while the other sleeps. Their stalkers, it becomes clear, are the police, though their purported crimes remain undefined: “We’re just two black men standing here and we ain’t doing shit.” They puzzle over the death toll of black men around them. “What his crime is?” asks one man. “Breathing while black?”

Even though Pass Over was originally written by Antoinette Nwandu as a stage play, partly as a response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Lee’s 2018 adaptation might just as well be speaking about the death last week in Minneapolis of George Floyd and the conflagration of pained outrage that followed it.

Lee made a short film in protest against Floyd’s death this week, but Pass Over’s awful eloquence serves equally as a reminder of injustices at the hands of the police and of besieged black American masculinity. Lines leap out with grave and chilling resonance. “Stop killing us,” says Moses (Jon Michael Hill), who is one part of the duo alongside Kitch (Julian Parker).

Like Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot, from which Nwandu’s script takes its inspiration, Moses and Kitch are in a perpetual state of waiting but dream of attaining their “true potential” even as they remain stuck in their immovable fates. “You were born where you were born and faced the future that you faced because you were black and for no other reason,” reflected James Baldwin in 1962 about limits on the black American dream. These men find themselves just as restricted.

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THE DRIVE-IN THEATER: KEEPING DRAMA ALIVE DURING THE LOCKDOWN ·

(From the New York Times, 5/31; via Pam Green; Photo: The New York Times.)

Patrick Kingsley, an international correspondent, and Laetitia Vancon, a photojournalist, are driving more than 3,700 miles to explore the reopening of the European continent after coronavirus lockdowns. Read all their dispatches.

PRAGUE — To attend her first play in more than two months, Marie Reslova, a prominent Czech theater critic, drove into Prague, headed to a large vegetable market, parked next to a convertible sports car and switched off her engine.

Soon, actors from the Czech National Theater strode onto a platform a few yards from Ms. Reslova’s windshield.

The play had begun. And she hadn’t even left her car.

The Czech Republic enforced tighter restrictions than most European countries to combat the coronavirus pandemic. For several weeks, Czechs were barred even from jogging without a mask. Even after the government eased that restriction, masks were still mandatory in most other public contexts.

But the country also loosened the lockdown earlier than most — and that has made it a laboratory for how arts and culture can adapt to a context in which some restrictions on social life have been lifted, while others remain in place.

The drive-in theater at Prague’s vegetable market was an ambitious example. To circumvent restrictions on public gatherings, audience members watched plays, concerts and comedy from behind their steering wheels — in a monthlong program that ended with a variety act by the National Theater last Sunday evening, attended by Ms. Reslova.

Across Europe, drive-ins have become a familiar means of circumventing pandemic restrictions. By default, cars keep their occupants socially distanced, leading even nightclub owners and priests to set up drive-in discos and churches.

Though considered a gimmick at first, their proliferation suggests they could become a common feature of society at least until the development of vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus.

But that will likely have ramifications for both the environment and the quality of cultural events. At times, the drive-in theater felt more like a traffic jam than a work of drama.

When the audience members wanted to applaud, they honked their horns.

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‘REAGAN’S COWBOYS: INSIDE THE 1984 REELECTION CAMPAIGN’S SECRET OPERATION AGAINST GERALDINE FERRARO’ BY JOHN B. ROBERTS II ·

A Presidential Election Year Is Like the Wild West . . .

When rumors about Geraldine Ferraro–the first woman vice-presidential nominee by a major party in U.S history–reached First Lady Nancy Reagan during the 1984 presidential election, a secret operation was launched to investigate her. It revealed Ferraro’s familial ties to organized crime and the extent to which she would have been subject to pressure or blackmail by the Mafia if elected.

Written by an insider responsible for running the investigation, this never-before-told story goes behind the scenes as an incumbent president’s campaign works to expose a political opponent’s mob connections. Part detective story, part political thriller, the narrative features all the major players in the Reagan White House and 1984 reelection committee, with revealing anecdotes about Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Reagan’s Cowboys – McFarland

View Reagan’s Cowboys on Amazon

John B. Roberts II got his start as an author with a play that he wrote and directed for a school performance in the fourth grade. His first professional work as a writer came when he and a college buddy scraped by through a dreary English winter to launch a magazine in London. When State Department exams required him to go back to America, he wrote magazine and newspaper articles for the airfare home. To get the money back to London, he took a temporary job on a presidential campaign. Sixteen years later, after two terms in the White House and a decade as an international political consultant, he made a mid-career switch back to writing fulltime.

For the last two years, he has been criss-crossing America’s backroads towing a retro-mod Bowlus Road Chief travel trailer while exploring America’s “fly over” country for a travel book.
His latest novel, “Stripping Lolita,” is in revision.

“Reagan’s Cowboys” is a true account of the 1984 Reagan-Bush reelection campaign’s secret operation against Geraldine Ferraro, America’s first female candidate for vice president on a major party ticket. It will be the first book to expose the hardball political tactics used at the pinnacle of American politics.

Roberts was The Mclaughlin Group’s senior producer and creative collaborator with television host John McLaughlin until his death in 2016. He has written thousands of shows and interviews for world leaders, celebrities, experts, politicians, and authors. In 1998, he launched CNCB’s top-rated talk show, “The McLaughlin Special Report.” As a freelance producer, he works on assignment around the world, from exotic locales such as a remote atoll in Tahiti to world capitals like London and Madrid.

When he isn’t writing books, articles, or TV shows, he can be found drawing and painting, or wandering remote byways in his 1984 CJ7 Jeep.

LARRY KRAMER, PLAYWRIGHT AND AIDS ACTIVIST, DIES AT 84 ·

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Times Newspapers/Shutterstock (219454a)
LARRY KRAMER
LARRY KRAMER – 1993

(Gordon Cox’s article appears in Variety, 5/27.)

Larry Kramer, the writer and influential gay activist who pressed the U.S. government and the medical establishment to respond to the AIDS epidemic, has died. He was 84.

Kramer died Wednesday from pneumonia, his husband David Webster told the New York Times.

Earlier in his life, Kramer was a screenwriter with credits including “Women in Love” and the 1973 musical “Lost Horizon.”

Spurred by the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, Kramer became a fierce activist and an impassioned writer, and one of the earliest and most vocal advocates for AIDS research, treatment access and institutional recognition of the gay community so hard-hit by the disease. He is best known not only as one of the founders of both Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP, but also as the writer of novels and plays including his 1985 work “The Normal Heart,” his urgent, agitprop depiction of the early days of the AIDS crisis.

A prominent and contentious voice in the gay community, Kramer fearlessly put forth hard truths and controversial opinions, as when, in a 1983 editorial, he urged gay men to stop having sex until more was known about AIDS and how it spread.

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THE CIVILIANS 9TH ANNUAL R&D GROUP FINDINGS SERIES, NOW ONLINE | APPS OPEN FOR 20-21 R&D GROUP ·

(via John Wyszniewski at Everyman Agency.)

2020-21 R&D Group: All applications must be submitted by June 22nd, 2020 for consideration.

The Civilians (Steve Cosson, Artistic Director; Margaret Moll, Managing Director), the award-winning New York-based theater company, presents the ninth annual R&D Group FINDINGS Series. The R&D Group is comprised of writers, composers, and directors who worked with The Civilians for nine months to develop six original pieces of theater through the creative investigation of a pre-selected subject.  

The members of the 2019-20 R&D Group are Gabriel “Gaby” Alter, Michael Alvarez, Matt Barbot, Kathleen Capdesuñer, Rachel Dickstein, Kate Douglas, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Grace McLean, Whitney Mosery, Crystal Skillman and Jason Tseng

Projects this year investigate a wide range of topics that share a common thread of how humanity perseveres and seeks out joy through adversity. They include stories inspired by an Arizona House Bill that banned Mexican Studies programs and confiscated a number of books from classrooms, our country’s gendered expectations about those who lead, our complex relationship to money, the role citizens can play in the immigration detention and deportation system, and more. The projects’ creative processes include interviews, community engagement, research and other experimental methods of inquiry. Led by Artistic Director Steve Cosson, previous R&D Program Director Megan McClain and current R&D Program Director Ilana Becker, the cohort shared and discussed their processes, examined artistic choices and provided a community of support for one another. 

Applications are now open for the 2020-21 R&D Group. The Civilians seeks writers, composers, directors and generative theatermakers to join the tenth class of its R&D Group. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own investigative work of theater, contribute to bi-monthly meetings, and present a work-in-progress showing as part of the annual FINDINGS Series. The application for the 2020-21 R&D Group can be found on The Civilians’ website or  http://bit.ly/RDGroup2021App. All applications must be submitted by June 22nd, 2020 for consideration.

The ninth annual FINDINGS Series will run from May 29th-June 22nd and will be streamed online. Five of the six projects will be shared at this time; the sixth, a wholly immersive and interactive experience, will be presented when we can gather in person again. All of these works-in-progress readings are free and will require a reservation. To RSVP, please fill out this form: https://bit.ly/CiviliansFindingsRSVP

Presentations include:  

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MICHEL PICCOLI (1925-2020), STALWART OF FRENCH CINEMA WHOSE PROLIFIC CAREER INCLUDED FILMS WITH LUIS BUÑUEL, JEAN-LUC GODARD AND CLAUDE CHABROL ·

(Ronald Bergan’s article appeared in the Guardian, 6/18; Photo: The Guardian; via Adam Sullivan)

For more than half a century, there seemed to be one constant in French cinema – the actor Michel Piccoli. With his death at the age of 94 something vital has disappeared from the screen.

Never young looking – he was prematurely bald – Piccoli grew in maturity and power over the years, with directors such as Luis Buñuel, Jean-Luc GodardClaude ChabrolMarco Ferreri and Claude Sautet seeking his services more than once. He also worked for directors of the stature of Alfred Hitchcock, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jacques Rivette, Costa-Gavras and Louis Malle.

Even when he was a big name, Piccoli was never too proud to play small supporting roles or even bit parts if he liked the screenplay. But whatever the size of the role, whether playing a goody or a baddie, Piccoli would bring to the character a gravitas (with a tinge of humour) and an ironic detachment, simultaneously revealing a real, recognisable human being beneath the surface.

Piccoli was born in Paris to a French mother and an Italian father, both of them musicians – his mother was a pianist; his father a violinist. At 19, he made his screen debut in a walk-on part in Sortilèges (1945), directed by Christian-Jaque.

After several roles in the cinema and theatre, he met Buñuel. “I wrote to this famous director asking him to come and see me in a play. Me, an obscure actor! It was the cheek of a young man. He came and we became friends.” Piccoli appeared in six of Buñuel’s films, usually cast as a silky, authoritarian figure.

His first performance for Buñuel was as a weak, compromised priest trekking through the Brazilian jungle in La Mort en Ce Jardin (Death in the Garden/Evil Eden, 1956). In Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), he was the idle and lecherous Monsieur Monteil, sexually obsessed with Jeanne Moreau as the maid Célestine.

Just as louche was his smooth bourgeois gentleman who persuades a respectable doctor’s wife (Catherine Deneuve) to spend her afternoons working in a high-class brothel with kinky clients in Belle de Jour (1967). Piccoli reprised the role charmingly almost 40 years later in Manoel de Oliveira’s Belle Toujours (2006).

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Khaled Nabawy writes: “What a sad day, Michel Piccoli dies, for the industry and the audience he is a great actor; for me, he is my greatest father ever on screen in The Immigrant!  Through you I learned early how a great human being can be. . . . RIP MY greatest father on screen.”  

ARS NOVA ANNOUNCES 24 HOUR LIVESTREAM TELETHON, JUNE 12–13   ·

(Via John Wyszniewski, Everyman Agency)

The Ars Nova Forever Telethon Features Over 100 Artists with Hosts Freestyle Love Supreme, Ashley Park, Lilli Cooper, Dave Malloy, John Early, Rachel Chavkin, Sakina Jaffrey, Jason Tam, Isaac Oliver, The Story Pirates, Larry Owens, and Natalie Walker

Ars Nova, under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan and Managing Director Renee Blinkwolt, announces The Ars Nova Forever Telethon, a 24 hour livestream featuring over 100 artists celebrating Ars Nova’s past and present while raising funds to propel the organization into its future. The online event will begin at 6pm EDT on June 12 and run non-stop until 6pm EDT on June 13 at https://arsnovanyc.com/telethon.

Taking inspiration from classic TV marathons, The Ars Nova Forever Telethon will feature segments spotlighting some of Ars Nova’s most beloved shows, artists, and alums. Hosts include Rachel ChavkinLilli Cooper, John EarlyFreestyle Love SupremeSakina JaffreyDave MalloyIsaac OliverLarry OwensAshley Park, The Story PiratesJason Tam, and Natalie Walker. Highlights include deep dives into the worlds of KPOP and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812; a special edition of Showgasm, Ars Nova’s signature variety-show-meets-party; the world premiere of Isaac Oliver’s Lonely Quarantine; a late-night dance party; a kid-friendly Saturday morning special; and more.

Additional guests and performances to be announced soon with a full schedule to be released on June 9.

Ars Nova’s Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan commented, “When Ars Nova made the big commitment back in March to keep paying our artists and staff throughout this necessary closure, we knew it would take an even bigger idea to pull it off. We’ve been missing our community so much while working from home, so when the slightly insane idea for a 24 hour telethon arose, we all perked up, as it seems like the perfect way to connect with a slew of our artists and audiences all at once – and we’ve always loved a challenge! New York City needs culture to thrive so we hope folks will rally around this campaign and make sure Ars Nova can flourish into the future.”

The Ars Nova Forever Telethon is the marquee event of the recently launched #ArsNovaForever Campaign to provide a foundation for Ars Nova’s bright future, and fuel the company’s recovery after the cancellation of the remainder of its 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, during which it committed to pay all artists, staff, and hourly workers. The #ArsNovaForever Campaign aims to raise $685,000 before the end of its fiscal year on June 30, 2020, of which they have secured $395,000. The upcoming 24-hour Ars Nova Forever Telethon is the centerpiece of the campaign and Ars Nova’s most ambitious benefit to date.

Please visit https://arsnovanyc.com/telethon for more information.

About Ars Nova

Ars Nova exists to discover, develop, and launch singular theater, music and comedy artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our dynamic slate of programs supports outside-the-box thinking and encourages innovative, genre-bending work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a protective environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of diverse artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Ars Nova has been honored with an Obie Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: The New York Times critic’s pick Dr. Ride’s American Beach House by Liza Birkenmeier, directed by Katie Brook; “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner and The New York Times’ “Best of 2018,” Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future, created by Andrew R. Butler and directed by Jordan Fein; “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner KPOP, created by Jason Kim, Max Vernon, Helen Park, and Woodshed Collective, directed by Teddy Bergman; “Best New American Theatre Work,” Obie Award-winner and “one of the best new plays in the last 25 years” (The New York Times), Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special, directed by Taibi Magar (now on international tour); “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner FUTURITY, by César Alvarez with The Lisps, directed by Sarah Benson; The New York Times’ and New York Post’s “Best of 2015,” Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Time Out New York’s “Best of 2014,” JACUZZI by The Debate Society, directed by Oliver Butler; the Tony Award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar, directed by Sam Gold; the world premiere of the 2009 season’s most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Alex Timbers; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It’s Pink by Everett, Michael Patrick King, and Kenny Mellman, directed by King; and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail’s first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail (Broadway 2019).

 

IS THE HAND QUICKER THAN THE ZOOM WINDOW? ·

(The post appeared first in The New York Times, 5/15; photo: The New York Times; via Pam Green.)

Before my scheduled preview performance of “The Present,” a new show from the Geffen Playhouse (rebranded as Geffen Stayhouse) in Los Angeles, I received — via FedEx, after a failed delivery from the Postal Service and a series of increasingly panicked emails — a letter with strict instructions. I was to download Zoom and join a meeting 15 minutes before showtime. There would be, bold type informed me, “no late seating.”

On Wednesday, just shy of 11 p.m. (the perils of seeing a California show on New York time), an enthusiastic stage manager checked me in and I took my seat — a rickety Ikea chair in kicking distance of a teetering pile of laundry. My husband sat nearby on the edge of an unmade bed strewn with children’s toys. I had meant to pour a glass of wine, but we’d emptied the last bottle days ago.

“The Present,” created by the Portuguese conjurer Helder Guimarães, is a magic show, and I struggle to imagine a setting and sobriety level less conducive to enchantment. But this is a pandemic. As with bandanna masks and homemade hand sanitizer, we make do.

David Copperfield disappearing the Statue of Liberty and the peculiar success of Criss Angel notwithstanding, magic has always struck me as particularly dependent on liveness — a duel between the nothing-up-my-sleeves hand and the watchful, untrained eye. Put a camera between them, and the odds no longer seem fair. (Video sequences in live shows can feel miscalculated, too, a wrongheaded attempt to scale up what should be intimate, a tryst dressed up as an orgy.)

But last year, while researching the psychological illusionist Derren Brown, I lost several nights, happily, to his old TV series. And routines by the card assassin Ricky Jay — that watermelon! — bear watching on repeat. Knowing remote prestidigitation could work, I spent the two weeks after booking my ticket to “The Present” lurking and squinting and nervously participating online and on the phone, exploring how. The magic word of the moment? Your Wi-Fi login.

I began with Noah Levine, a familiar face beneath a quarantine beard. In “the before” (is that what we’re calling it?), I had twice seen his “Magic After Hours” show at Tannen’s Magic. With the help of the Atlas Obscura and Airbnb platforms, he has now developed “Backstage With a Magician,” in which he promises to perform tricks from his “secret lair,” which looks a lot like a Brooklyn apartment. At showtime, he greeted us in front of a credibility bookcase — “Gravity’s Rainbow,” manuals on card and coin magic, a crystal ball. He has taken to wearing a Nehru jacket. We cope however we can.

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BERLINER ENSEMBLE: “MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN” WITH HELENE WEIGEL, “AN UNMISSABLE OPPORTUNITY”–UK GUARDIAN ·

STREAMING FROM FRIDAY FOR A WEEK: BERLINER ENSEMBLE–“MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN” WITH HELENE WEIGEL, FROM 1957  

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Stay at home – BE at home: While the doors of the Berlin ensemble must remain closed to our audience, we provide you with a recording of a repertoire or historically significant staging as an online stream once a week. The stream of the week is always available from Fridays and then for a week.

We are very pleased that we can now show you, in collaboration with the Bertolt Brecht Archive of the Academy of the Arts, a recording of Bertolt Brechts and Erich Engels’ staging of “Mother Courage and Her Children” with Helene Weigel from 1957 (German audio only!). We can now make this staging, which is important in terms of theater history, accessible to a larger audience for the first time and thank the Bertolt Brecht heirs and Suhrkamp Verlag for this. The stream is available free of charge until midnight on May 21, 2020 at “BE at home”.

From May 22, 2020, 6:00 p.m., we will show a recording of Heiner Müller’s “Macbeth” in a production by Michael Thalheimer (with English Surtitles!).

Further digital offers from the Berlin Ensemble can be found at www.berliner-ensemble.de/be-at-home.

Photo: © Hainer Hill ©AdK, Berlin

 

Read more from Chris Wiegand in the Guardian:

Mother Courage

Achtung! Here’s an unmissable opportunity to catch a piece of German theatre history (though without English subtitles). The Berliner Ensemble is streaming a different production each week for its BE at Home programme, and from 15-22 May you can see Brecht’s classic play about the 30 years war in Europe. Legendary actor Helene Weigel, Brecht’s wife, plays the title role. Weigel played the part of the indomitable profiteer and matriarch more than 200 times in her career.

For further streaming events

 

Synopsis, from Wikipedia:

Mother Courage and Her Children

The play is set in the 17th century in Europe during the Thirty Years’ War. The Recruiting Officer and Sergeant are introduced, both complaining about the difficulty of recruiting soldiers to the war. Anna Fierling (Mother Courage) enters pulling a cart containing provisions for sale to soldiers, and introduces her children Eilif, Kattrin, and Schweizerkas (“Swiss Cheese”). The sergeant negotiates a deal with Mother Courage while Eilif is conscripted by the Recruiting Officer.

Two years thereafter, Mother Courage argues with a Protestant General’s cook over a capon, and Eilif is congratulated by the General for killing peasants and slaughtering their cattle. Eilif and his mother sing “The Fishwife and the Soldier”. Mother Courage scolds her son for endangering himself.

Three years later, Swiss Cheese works as an army paymaster. The camp prostitute, Yvette Pottier, sings “The Fraternization Song”. Mother Courage uses this song to warn Kattrin against involving herself with soldiers. Before the Catholic troops arrive, the Cook and Chaplain bring a message from Eilif. Swiss Cheese hides the regiment’s paybox from invading soldiers, and Mother Courage and companions change their insignia from Protestant to Catholic. Swiss Cheese is captured and tortured by the Catholics having hidden the paybox by the river. Mother Courage attempts bribery to free him, planning to pawn the wagon first and redeem it with the regiment money. When Swiss Cheese claims that he has thrown the box in the river, Mother Courage backtracks on the price, and Swiss Cheese is killed. Fearing to be shot as an accomplice, Mother Courage does not acknowledge his body, and it is discarded.

Later, Mother Courage waits outside the General’s tent to register a complaint and sings the “Song of Great Capitulation” to a young soldier anxious to complain of inadequate pay. The song persuades both to withdraw their complaints.

When Catholic General Tilly’s funeral approaches, the Chaplain tells Mother Courage that the war will still continue, and she is persuaded to pile up stocks. The Chaplain then suggests to Mother Courage that she marry him, but she rejects his proposal. Mother Courage curses the war because she finds Kattrin disfigured after being raped by a drunken soldier. Thereafter Mother Courage is again following the Protestant army.

Two peasants try to sell merchandise to her when they hear news of peace with the death of the Swedish king. The Cook appears and causes an argument between Mother Courage and the Chaplain. Mother Courage is off to the market while Eilif enters, dragged in by soldiers. Eilif is executed for killing a peasant while stealing livestock, trying to repeat the same act for which he was praised as hero in wartime, but Mother Courage never hears thereof. When she finds out the war continues, the Cook and Mother Courage move on with the wagon.

In the seventeenth year of the war, there is no food and no supplies. The Cook inherits an inn in Utrecht and suggests to Mother Courage that she operate it with him, but refuses to harbour Kattrin. Thereafter Mother Courage and Kattrin pull the wagon by themselves.

When Mother Courage is trading in the Protestant city of Halle, Kattrin is left with a peasant family in the countryside overnight. As Catholic soldiers force the peasants to guide the army to the city for a sneak attack, Kattrin fetches a drum from the cart and beats it, waking the townspeople, but is herself shot. Early in the morning, Mother Courage sings a lullaby to her daughter’s corpse, has the peasants bury it, and hitches herself to the cart.