Theatre Database
Home | Ancient Theatre | Medieval Theatre | 16th Century | 17th Century | 18th Century | 19th Century | 20th Century


1898 February 10 Bertolt Brecht is born in Augsburg, Bavaria where his father runs a paper mill.
1914 His first poems are published.
1917 He enrolls as a medical student at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
He attends Arthur Kutscher's theatre seminar.
1918 He is drafted and serves as a medical orderly.
He writes his first play, Baal.
1919 He joins the Independent Social Democratic party, beginning a lifelong association with communism.
He has a son (Frank) with his girlfriend, Paula Banholzer.
He begins writing theatre reviews for Volkswillen, a local independent Socialist newspaper.
1920 He is named chief adviser on play selection at the Munich Kammerspiele.
1922 November 3 He marries the opera singer and actress Marianne Zoff.
1923 His daughter, Hanne Hiob, is born. She will grow up to become a well-known German actress.
In the Jungle of Cities premieres in Munich.
December 8 Baal premieres at the Altes Theater in Leipzig.
1924 Brecht becomes a consultant at Max Reinhardt's Deutches Theater in Berlin.
He has a son (Stefan) with the actress Helene Weigel.
1926 Man Equals Man premieres at Darmstadt and Düsseldorf.
1927 Brecht divorces Marianne Zoff.
He publishes Hauspostille, a volume of poetry.
1928 The Threepenny Opera, a musical with a libretto by Brecht, opens at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. It is the hit of the season.
1929 April 10 Brecht marries Helene Weigel.
1930 He has a daughter (Barbara) with Weigel.
The Rise and Fall of the City of Mohagonny, an opera with a libretto by Brecht, causes a riot when it premieres in Leipzig.
1932 May Brecht's political film, Kuhle Wampe, named after an area of Berlin where the unemployed live in shacks, premieres in Moscow. It is banned from theaters in Germany.
The Mother, Brecht's adaptation of a Maxim Gorky novel, opens in Berlin with music by Hanns Eisler.
1933 February 28 After Adolf Hitler comes to power, Brecht, fearing for his safety, flees Germany and eventually settles in Denmark.
April 13 An English version of The Threepenny Opera opens at the Empire Theatre on Broadway. It closes after only 12 performances.
1935 Brecht is stripped of his German citizenship.
1938 Fear and Mistery of the Third Reich premieres in Paris.
1941 Brecht relocates to Santa Monica, California.
Mother Courage and Her Children premieres in Switzerland.
1943 The Good Person of Szechwan and Life of Galileo premiere in Zurich.
1944 Brecht becomes a member of the Council for a Democratic Germany.
He has a child with Ruth Berlau, but the baby does not survive.
1946 Brecht's adaptation of The Duchess of Malfi premieres in Boston.
1947 October 30 Brecht is subpoenaed to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). He testifies that he is not a member of the communist party. On the same day of this interrogation, Brecht leaves the U.S.
1948 After 15 years of exile, Brecht returns to Germany.
Mr. Puntila and his Man Matti premieres in Zurich.
Brecht's adaptation of Antigone premieres in Switzerland.
He publishes A Short Organum for the Theatre.
1949 Brecht and Helen Weigel found the Berliner-Ensemble, a state-subsidized theatre company which will eventually become the most highly regarded progressive theatre in Europe.
1953 Brecht is elected president of the German section of PEN, a worldwide association of writers.
1954 The Berliner Ensemble's production of Mother Courage is named Best Play and Best Production at the Paris Théâtre des Nations festival.
September 30 A revival of The Threepenny Opera opens at the Theater de Lys on Broadway. This time, it enjoys a run of 2,611 performances.
1955 Brecht receives the Stalin Peace Prize.
1956 August 14 Bertolt Brecht dies of a heart attack at the age of 58.
Browse Bertolt Brecht Quotes
Browse Bertolt Brecht: Essential Reading List

Back to Bertolt Brecht