German playwright, poet and prose writer, founder of the Berliner Ensemble Theater. Raised in the Weimar Republic, he had his first successes as a playwright in Munich and moved to Berlin in 1924, where he wrote The Threepenny Opera with Kurt Weill and began a lifelong collaboration with composer Hanns Eisler. During this time, he immersed himself in Marxist thought, wrote didactic teaching pieces, and became a leading theorist of epic theatre (which he later preferred to call "dialectical theatre") and the so-called V-Effect. The work of Brecht, poet and playwright, has always been controversial, as have his theory of "epic theatre" and his political views. Nevertheless, Brecht's plays were already firmly in the repertoire of the European theatre in the 1950s; his ideas have been adopted in one form or another by many contemporary playwrights, including Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Arthur Adamow, Max Frisch, and Heiner Müller. He died on August 14, 1956, aged 59.