Brecht’s Mother Courage is now more than 75 years old. It is a daunting and captivating play with a once-in-a-lifetime role that many actresses would give their eye-teeth to play.
At the Daily Beast in September of 2014 for the 75th Anniversary of Mother Courage, writer Katie Baker took an in-depth but highly readable look into this great play and its creator, and its history.
The article is not a quick read, but it’s totally worth your time.
Did you know that Mother Courage and Her Children is filled with songs? If you’re like most folks, you may not have heard the songs in the show since none of them are quite as famous as “Mac the Knife” from Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera. We’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of artists covering songs from Brecht’s works. We’ve include the songs (sung by the artist) from the production of Mother Courage and Her Children that were created for the National Theatre production in London. Take a listen, familiarize yourself with the tunes, and get in the mood to see the show.
Following armies from battle to battle, one tough-as-nails matriarch is at the center of Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of Mother Courage and Her Children. Rehearsals for the play began on September 30.
“As a result of our country’s long involvement in conflict, we are still feeling the ramifications, as a nation and populace, of living with war,” said Artistic Director George Mount at the first rehearsal for Mother Courage and Her Children. “This play does an amazingly powerful and poignant job of bringing us closer to the world of war, reminding us that it has always been with us. I wish I could say it is not worth doing, this play in 2015, but it still is.”
“As far as I’m concerned, Brecht is one of the great writers of 20th century,” said the play’s director Jeff Steitzer. “He created characters that are, in their own way, every bit as memorable as many of the characters in Shakespeare.” Mother Courage has been referred to as the female King Lear encompassing a range that runs from bar room bawdy to fierce venality. With a sly talent for survival, Anna Fierling, strives to keep her family and her business together while she follows the war from battle to battle selling here wares. But while she profits from the war, the war also exacts its price. Shot through with song and peppered with satire, Mother Courage and Her Children hard-eyed look at the war machine.
Director Jeff Steitzer returns to Seattle Shakespeare Company after having directed Pygmalion for the company in 2012. A veteran theatre artist, Steitzer has directed 180 professional stage productions and appeared on Broadway and in regional theaters across the country.
Actress Jeanne Paulsen (Pygmalion) will play the title role of Anna Fierling a.k.a. Mother Courage. Her real-life husband Larry Paulsen (Cymbeline) will play the Chaplain and R. Hamilton Wright (Tartuffe) will play Cook. In the roles of Mother Courage’s children are Trick Danneker (Othello) as Eilif, Spencer Hamp (The Comedy of Errors) as Swiss Cheese, and Chesa Greene as Kattrin. They lead a cast that totals 13 actors. This is the first time Seattle Shakespeare Company has produced Mother Courage and Her Children.
Mother Courage and Her Children runs October 27 through November 22, 2015.
Position Title: Development Director
Reports To: Managing Director
Seattle Shakespeare Company Mission Statement: With the plays of William Shakespeare at our core, Seattle Shakespeare Company engages our audiences, our artists, and our community in the universal human experience inherent in classic drama through the vitality, immediacy, and intimacy of live performance and dynamic outreach programs.
Seattle Shakespeare Company Overview: Founded in 1991, Seattle Shakespeare Company is the State of Washington’s leading professional, classical theatre. The company has an annual budget of $1.8 million, of which $1 million is contributed. The company has finished 13 straight years in the black and has a $100,000 reserve. Seattle Shakespeare Company is governed by a 27-person Board of Directors and has a core of 12 staff members, plus seasonal employees.
Position Summary: The Development Director is a principal part of the Seattle Shakespeare Company staff, responsible for guiding donor relationships and cultivating contributed revenue sources. Working closely with the Managing Director, Board of Directors and other staff members, the Development Director devises and manages all fundraising efforts including individual giving, institutional giving, contributed reporting, pledge tracking, data entry, special events management, donor recognition, and in-kind donations. The Development Director must be a creative, strategic, passionate, articulate, and skillful leader and ambassador for Seattle Shakespeare Company, its mission and its programs.
The position oversees one full-time staff position, an Events Manager & Development Associate (40 hours/week), and staffs the Board of Directors’ Development Committee.
Compensation: This is a full-time, salaried position. Salary: mid to high $40Ks. Benefits include health insurance, paid vacation, and paid holidays.
To Apply: Send a cover letter, resume, two writing samples, and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org or Development Director Search, Seattle Shakespeare Company, PO Box 19595, Seattle, WA, 98109. (No phone calls, please.)
Position Closing Date: Open until filled.
Essential Functions Include:
- Provide leadership, planning and oversight of development activities.
- Create a development plan for the year.
- Serve as staff liaison to Development Committee and Board of Directors.
- Participate in planning and implementation of development training for Board of Directors.
- Work in partnership with the Communications Department on strategic and integrated messaging to patrons and donors throughout the year.
- Manage individual giving and donor relations:
- Coordinate creation, production and supervision of campaigns – direct mail, email, curtain appeals, GiveBIG, Wooden O, and others.
- Oversee Arden Circle, SSC’s multi-year giving for major donors.
- Direct the major gifts program. Strategize approaches to major donor prospects and work with Managing Director, Development Chair and Board of Directors on researching, cultivating, soliciting, renewing, and upgrading major donors.
- Serve as a trusted organizational contact for donors, providing stellar customer service.
- Manage institutional giving — corporate, foundation, and government support:
- Collaborate with the Board Development Committee, Board of Directors and the Managing Director on cultivating and soliciting institutional funders.
- Complete grant and sponsorship requests.
- Maintain a grant schedule/calendar.
- Scan “giving universe” for institutional prospects.
- Assure funding agreements are met: recognition, assessment, reporting, or other contract terms.
- Serve as communications liaison with institutional supporters.
- Provide leadership with Event Chairs, Board Committees, and Events Manager & Development Associate on planning and implementing fundraising and cultivation events, including:
- Annual Education Luncheon (fall).
- Bill’s Bash Gala Auction (spring).
- Opening Nights.
- Donor cultivation/appreciation events (Donor/Tech, First Rehearsal, Season Launch, etc.).
- Other events as scheduled.
- Perform general administrative tasks for development department:
- Oversee Development staff, interns, contractors, volunteers.
- Ensure accurate management of data, effective revision of donor lists, and timely acknowledgement of gifts.
- Devise and prepare monthly reports for Board.
- Create budget and track finances of development revenues and expenses.
- Attend staff and board meetings, opening nights, performances, and funding events.
- Other duties as assigned.
Qualifications: At least 3 years of experience in non-profit fund development, strong preference to experience in performing arts.
- Strong interpersonal, writing and communications skills are required.
- Excellent customer service skills.
- Major gift experience.
- Computer-literacy is a must (Microsoft Windows, Word, and Excel) and familiarity with data base or CRM software (preferably Salesforce/Patron Manager) preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to manage volunteers and work collaboratively with executive and board leadership.
- Ability to successfully manage multiple projects and meet all deadlines.
- Strategic thinking, creativity, imagination, flexibility, and dedication.
- Team player with sense of humor.
- Passion for the theatre.
- Must be able to work the occasional weekend or evening event.
- Staff supervision experience preferred.