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Roundheads and Peakheads - Full Length Play, Satire/Political Satire

Roundheads and Peakheads

Bertolt Brecht

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Full Length Play, Satire/Political Satire

ISBN: 9780802151490

A satirical anti-Nazi parable about a fictitious country called Yahoo in which the rulers maintain their control by setting the people with round heads against those with pointed heads, thereby substituting racial relations for their antagonistic class relations. 

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Description | Characters | Author | Reviews
: Jungle of Cities and Other Plays

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play

Satire/Political Satire

More than 120 minutes (2 hours)

Settings Of Play - The mythical kingdom of Yahoo.


Unit Set/Multiple Settings


Politics, War


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Yahoo faces a crisis: the nation’s poor, led by the noble Sickle League, are in danger of overthrowing the rule of the rich landlords. The “Big Five”, the nation’s behind-the-scenes manipulators, conclude that the incompetent Viceroy must be replaced, at least temporarily, by a political turnaround artist, Governor Iberin. Iberin’s strategy: to distract the poor from their grievances by inciting them to an internecine war between the Zaks – folks with round heads – and the minority Ziks, who have pointy heads. When a peasant farmer seeks relief from the oppressive rent his landlord – who happens to be one of the big five – charges, his cause seems hopeless. But Governor Iberin has a different angle: the landlord, a Zik, admittedly had sex with the Zak farmer’s daughter, who is now a prostitute. Iberin denounces the Zikish landlord for despoiling the Zakish maiden and ruining her life, and sentences him to death. The farmer doesn’t give a hoot about his daughter’s sex life – her career choice seems fine to him – but he likes the death sentence part, and becomes a big fan of the Governor rather than joining his natural allies, the Sickle League. - DC Theatre Scene
"Inspired by Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Roundheads and Peakheads was a scathing indictment of the Nazis’ fueling of racial hatred to promote their agenda. The mythical kingdom of Yahoo is experiencing an economic meltdown...and the country’s leaders decide to quell a potential uprising of the lower class by the exploiting the enmity between two ethnic groups: the rich peakheads and the poor roundheads." - The Examiner
An epic parable play written by the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht, in collaboration with Margarete Steffin, Emil Burri, Elisabeth Hauptmann, and the composer Hanns Eisler. The play's subtitle is Money Calls to Money and its authors describe it as "a tale of horror." The play is composed of 11 scenes in prose and blank verse and 13 songs. Unlike another of Brecht's plays from this period, The MotherRoundheads and Peakheads was addressed to a wide audience, Brecht suggested, and took account of "purely entertainment considerations." Brecht's notes on the play, written in 1936, contain the earliest theoretical application of his "defamiliarization" principle to his own "non-Aristotelian" drama.


Ensemble cast, Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Expandable casting, Flexible casting

Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), playwright, poet and director, was born in Augsburg, Germany in February 1898. He established himself as a playwright during the 1920s and early 1930s with plays such as Baal, Man is Man, The Threepenny Opera,  and The Mother. In 1933, as Hitler came to power in Germany, Mr. Brecht fled to Scandinavia before eventually settling in the USA where he remained until 1947. ... view full profile

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