The Good Soul of Setzuan

The Good Soul of Setzuan

As a company we have always described how Brecht has become like a company playwright at Irondale. His techniques have been adapted into our work alongside techniques of improvisation over the years, and still to this day. We are very passionate about keeping his work alive and enjoy creating work, when knowing that his writing allows for a connection to the audience to be created. This connection gives the audience a sense of ‘I’m talking to you’ allows the fourth wall to be broken.

After visiting Galileo last year, it only seem right in our political climate today, we explore the The Good Soul of Setzuan. The play will be performed as a fable and begin to question how can you remain a good person in a corrupt world?

Translated by noted Scottish playwright David Harrower, Irondale’s production is set in the playwrights’ room, mirroring Brecht’s practice when he was kept in exile in the United States due to the Nazi ruling in World War 2. 

In the comedic pessimism of The Good Soul of Setzuan, this 1945 fable about the brutalizing nature of poverty, still remains ominously apt, exploring the lengths to which one must go to keep clean in a dirty world. The parable follows Shen Tei, the kind-hearted, penniless prostitute, found by a trio of Gods to be the only good person in town. With her goodness impossibly tested by a world that rewards evil, she is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman male cousin, Shui Ta, to master the ruthlessness necessary to be a “good person.”  For Brecht, and mirrored in the climate of today, doing good and surviving are not compatible and enlists the audience to help determine how the story should end.

With Carolyn Baeumler, Joey Collins, Terry Greiss, Renata Soares and Chantelle Guido. Original music by Sam Day Harmet. Musicians: Sam Day Harmet and Erica Mancini. Directed by Jim Niesen.

Buy Tickets

January 30 – February 22 | Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm
$35.00 General Admission
$25.00 Students and Seniors*
$10.00 Previews

*You will be asked to show proof at the box office.

The first preview on January 29 has been canceled due to technical difficulties. All other performances will occur as planned.

Irondale Center
85 South Oxford Street
Brooklyn,NY 11217

What they Say

To play together we must learn to speak each other’s language. And by playing together we begin to break doI just saw Irondale’s production of Brecht’s Galileo. Riveting theater in an amazing space! A terrific show- science and facts under fire- stellar acting and great live music!wn insecurities we may have that come from not understanding. We can actually teach each other in a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere—an atmosphere of joy, play and healthy competition.

Google ReviewerAudience Member

Fabulous! See it!

Jeff MarkerAudience Member


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