Bertolt Brecht in English.

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REVISED: 25 October 2001. 


There have been two plans to make the works of Bertolt Brecht available to readers in English-speaking countries.
One is headed by Eric Bentley in the United States. This series is published by the Grove Press in New York and has gone through many phases. It was best known in the Black Cat edition and is currently under the Evergreen edition with only parts of the titles still available.
The other plan is originally edited by John Willett and Ralph Manheim. The plan included not only the dramatic works but writings in other genres as well. The strength of this series is that it usually presents a literal translation of a published text (in the earlier volumes: mostly Gesammelte Werke edited by Elisabeth Hauptmann*) with copious annotations and notes. This series is published by the Methuen Publishing Co. in London, and is near completion at the end of 1998, the centenary of the playwright. Methuen also put several titles from this series in their "A Methuen Modern Play" paperback edition, but without annotations. In the 1970s the series had an American edition, with different translators. The paperbacks were published by Vintage, and the hardbacks by Random House. The scheme seems to be suspended with only volumes 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 9 published so far.
Currentley the Arcade Publishing in New York is reissuing the paperback editions of individual plays that have appeared in the Methuen series. A few years ago Arcade brought out an edition of three volumes with three plays in each. This was an reissue of the 1987 "Methuen World Dramatists" edition. It appears to be out of print, but is still possible to spot them in bookstores here in the States.

under construction

This webpage is divided into three sections: Dramatic Works; Poems and Prose. It should also be noted that this list contains only those translations that have been published through major publishing venues. It does not claim completeness. It is my hope that both students and theatre practitioners could use this webpage as an entry point as to where to find translations of Brecht's work on paper. It is still under construction, of course and would welcome suggestions and alerts to omissions I have overlooked. Thank you.

In the following table (Dramatic Works), I use three symbols to indicate the less expensive paperbacks:


Arcade single volumes (Methuen Modern Plays edition, with notes identical to the hardback editions).

Arcade, in One Volume.

Arcade in one volume (Methuen's World Dramatists, 1987).

A Methuen modern play

A Methuen Modern Play (no annotaions).


Dramatic Works

Titles included in the plans of the Collected Plays.

Collected Plays (Methuen, London), ongoing.

Collected Plays (Random House / Vintage,  New York, 1970-1976)

(Methuen, London) Volumes: 
1 (1960); 
2 (1962).

Seven Plays. (Grove, New York 1961)

(Evergreen Black Cat book), some still in print.

in journals or single volumes.

Taken from the scheme found in Volume 3 of the Methuen edition.

The Methuen Series.

Its American edition.

Methuen series' forerunner.

The Grove edition's forerunner. Edited by Bentley.


Evergreen Reissue. _Galileo_ tran. Charles Laughton.

Galileo reissue.

Brackets [] means a different title used by the translator.


Peter Tegel 
ArcadeArcade, in One Volume.

William E Smith and Ralph Manheim



ad. Eric Bentley and Martin Esslin


Drums in the Night

John Willett

William E Smith and Ralph Manheim



Frank Jones


In the Jungle of Cities

Gerhard Nellhaus

Gerhard Nellhaus


[Im the Swamp] 
Eric Bentley 
(1927 Propyläen version)

[Jungle of Cities] 
Anselm Hollo

Gerhard Nellhaus. 
Theatre Arts, August 1961.

The Life of Edward II of England

Jean Benedetti

William E Smith and Ralph Manheim



[Edward II] 
Eric Bentley


A Respectable Wedding

Jean Benedetti

[The Wedding] 
Martin and Rose Kastner





The Beggar or the Dead Dog

Michael Hamburger. 
(The Drama Review (TDR 38). 12 (1968): 2: 120-123.)

Peter Hertz





Driving out a Devil

Richard Grundberger

[He Drives out a Devil] 
Martin and Rose Kastner





Lux in Tenebris

Eva Geisel and Ernest Borneman

Martin and Rose Kastner





The Catch

John Willett

Martin and Rose Kastner





Man Equals Man

Gerhard Nellhaus

Gerhard Nellhaus


[A Man's a Man] 
Eric Bentley 
(1926 Arcadia/Propyläen version)

[A Man's a Man] 
ad. Eric Bentley


The Elephant Calf

Gerhard Nellhaus

[The Baby Elephat] 
Gerhard Nellhaus. 
{originally: Wake. No. 8. Autumn 1949}



Eric Bentley


The Threepenny Opera

Ralph Manheim and John Willett 
ArcadeArcade, in One Volume.

Ralph Manheim and John Willett

Desmond I Vesey and Eric Bentley

Arcade in one volume.
Arcade in one volume sample.
Arcade in one volume. sample
Arcade: Three Penny Opera; Baal; The Mother.

Desmond I. Vesey and Eric Bentley

Desmond I. Vesey and Eric Bentley.
The Modern Theatre. V. 1. ed. Bentley.  New York 1955. / 
From the Modern Repertoire. ed. Bentley. Series 1. Denver 1949. /
Hugh MacDiamird. 
(London: Methuen, 1973). 
A Methuen modern play

The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman 

W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman




W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman 
Boston: D. R. Godine, 1976. 
Arnold Weinstein.
yale/theater. 2(1968): 53-64.
(Selections from a new translation: II. 4-5; III. 1.)

The Seven Deadly Sins

W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman 

W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman




[The Seven Deadly Sins of the Lower Middle Class] 
Michael Feingold. 
The Drama Review (TDR 13). 6(1961): 1: 123-129.

St. Joan of the Stockyards

Ralph Manheim 


Frank Jones

[Saint Joan of the Stockyards] 
Frank Jones 
(1932 Versuche version)

Saint Joan of the Stockyards, Arcade, 1998.
Saint Joan of the Stockyards, Arcade, 1998.

[Saint Joan of the Stockyards] 
Frank Jones. 
From the Modern Repertoire. ed. Bentley. Series 3. Bloomington 1956. / 
as a single volume: 
Indiana UP, 1969

Lindbergh's Flight

John Willett





[The Flight Across the Ocean] 
George Antheil. Uuniversal Edition.Vienna, 1930.

The Baden-Baden Lesson on Consent

Geoffrey Skelton (also in the Hindemith score Lehrstück. Mainz: B. Schott, 1974.)





[Baden Lehrstück] 
Lee Baxandall. 
The Drama Review (TDR). 4(1970): 4: 177-197. 
Gerhard Nellhaus?

He Said Yes / He Said No

adapted from the (No play) translation by Arthur Waley 





[Der Jasager] 
Michael Feingold. 
Theater. 6 (1975):2: 35-43. 
[He Who Says Yes; He Who Says No] 
Gerhard Nellhaus. 
Accent. 7 (1946): 2. 
[He Who Says Yes] 
J. M. Potts. 
London: UE, 1968.

The Decision

John Willett




[The Measures Taken] 
Eric Bentley

[The Measures Taken] 
Eric Bentley. 
The Modern Theatre. V. 6. ed. Bentley.  New York 1955./ The Colorado Review. 1(1956-57): 1. / 
[The Measures Taken] 
Carl Mueller. 
(London: Methuen, 1977).

The Mother

John Willett




Lee Baxandall

[The Mother] 
Steve Gooch. 
London: Methuen, 1978.A Methuen modern play

The Exception and the Rule

Tom Osborn




Eric Bentley

Eric Bentley. 
in New Directions, 15. 
New York 1955. / 
[The Exception and the Rule: a Play in Nine scenes] 
Eric Bentley. in Series: Chrysalis, no. 11-12, Dec.1954. Boston 1954. / 
Ralph Manheim. 
(London: Methuen, 1977).

The Horatians and the Curiatians

H. R. Hays





H. R. Hays. 
Acccent. 8 (1947):1.

Round Heads and Pointed Heads

Tom Kuhn^




[Roundheads and Peakheads] 
N. Goold-Verschoyle


The Trial of Lucullus

H. R. Hays^

Frank Jones

H. R. Hays [with notes on the opera The Condemnation of Lucullus]



H. R. Hays. 
in Series: New Directions in Prose and Poetry. New York 1943. 


Martin and Rose Kastner

Martin and Rose Kastner





What's the Price of Iron?

[How Much Is Your Iron?] 
Martin and Rose Kastner^

[How Much Is Your Iron?] 
Martin and Rose Kastner





Fear and Misery of the Third Reich

John Willett (24 scenes) 
Arcade, in One Volume.




3 scenes: [The Jewish Wife, In Search of Justice, The Informer.] 
Eric  Bentley.

[The Private Life of the Master Race: A Documentary Play] 
Eric Bentley. 
New York: New Directions, 1944. 
(17 scenes)

Señora Carrar's Rifles

Wolfgang Sauerlander





[Guns of Carrar] 
George Tabori. 
New York: S. French, 1941. / 
Keene Wallis. 
Theatre Workshop. April-June 1938.

Life of Galileo

John Willett 
ArcadeArcade, in One Volume.

Wolfgang Sauerlander and Ralph Manheim

Desmond I Vesey 
A Methuen modern play

Charles Laughton

Charles Laughton

Charles Laughton. 
From the Modern Repertoire. ed. Bentley. Series 2. Denver 1952. (The first time it was printed, with "sketch by Rober Davison of his stage setting for Galileo.")

Mother Courage and Her Children

John Willett 
ArcadeArcade, in One Volume.

Ralph Manheim

Eric Bentley ("absolutely complete," based on Versuche 20 [H. 9]
A Methuen modern play

[Mother Courage] 
adapted by Eric Bentley

[Mother Courage] 
adapted by Eric Bentley

[Mother Courage] 
adapted by Eric Bentley.
The Modern Theatre. V. 2. ed. Bentley.  New York 1955. [with piano score of Dessau's music]  / 

[Mother Courage] 
H. R. Hays. 
in New Directions 1941
New York 1941. 

[Mother Courage and her Children: a Chronicle of the 30 Years' War] 
ad. Eric Bentley. NewYork: S. French, 1987. 

Practice Scenes for Actors: 
The Murder in the Porter's Lodge (Macbeth); The Battle of the Fishwives (Maria Stuart); Ferry Scene (Hamlet); The Servants (Romeo and Juliet)

(stricken from the current plan)

Ralph Manheim




[Bertolt Brecht's Rehearsal Scenes: Enstranging Shakespeare. 
Romeo and Juliet: I. The Servants. II. Juliet and her Nurse. Macbeth: Murder at the Gatekeeper's House.
Carl Weber and james Kerams. 
The Drama Review (TDR). 
12 (1967): 1: 111-119.

The Good Person of Szechwan

John Willett 
ArcadeArcade, in One Volume.

Ralph Manheim

John Willett

[The Good Woman  of Setzuan] 
adapted by Eric Bentley

[The Good Woman  of Setzuan] 
adapted by Eric Bentley

[The Good Woman  of Setzuan] 
Eric and Maja Bentley. 
Parables for the Theatre. Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Press,    1948. .Later editions use "revised" version.

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Ralph Manheim 
Arcade, in One Volume.A Methuen modern play

Ralph Manheim




George Tabori. 
New York: S. French, 1972.

Mr Punitla and His Man Matti

John Willett 
ArcadeA Methuen modern play

[Puntila and Matti, Hir Hired Man] Ralph Manheim


A Methuen modern play
Caucasian Chalk Circle,  A Methuen Modern Play.
Caucasian Chalk Circle, A Methuen Modern Play.


[Puntila and His Hired Man] 
Gerhard Nellhaus. 
{Comedy: a Critical Anthology. ed R W Cirrigan. New York 1971.}
Gerhard Nellhaus and Richard Grenier.
14 (1954):2: 122-147.
(Only: Episodes 8-9.)

The Visions of Simone Marchard

Hugh and Ellen Rank

Ralph Manheim



Carl Richard Mueller


Schweyk in the Second World War

William Rowlinson

Max Knight and Joseph Fabry





The Caucasian Chalk Circle

James and Tania Stern with W. H. Auden 
ArcadeArcade, in One Volume.A Methuen modern play

Ralph Manheim

James and Tania Stern with W. H. Auden

Revised version by Eric Bentley

Revised version by Eric Bentley

Eric and Maja Bentley.
Parables for the Theatre. Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Press,    1948. Later editions use "revised" version.

The Prologue to CCC

The Prologue was first translated by

Bentley and  appeared in

The Tulane Review (TDR 6). 4(1959): 2: 45-49.



No prologue

 ["Azdaks Selbstbezichtigung/ Eine Modellübersetzung"]

Bertolt Brecht. in Brechts "Kreidekreis", ein Revolutionsstück.

von Betty Nance Weber. 

Frankfurt a. M. 1978. S. 182-193.

This particular scene was translated by

 Brecht himself to demonstrate to Auden the flavor

 he intended.

The Duchess of Malfi

Bertolt Brecht and H. R. Hays (ed. A. R. Braunmuller)

Bertolt Brecht and H. R. Hays (ed. A. R. Braunmuller)





The Days of the Commune






Clive Barker and Arno Reinfrank. (Methuen, 1978)A Methuen modern play / Leonard Lehrman. 
The Massachusetts Review 12( 1971): 3.}








Report from Herrnburg







Downfall of the Egoist Johann Fatzer







The Life of Confucius






[Life of Confucius: I. The Ginger Jar] 
H. E. Rank. 
The Kenyon Review. 20(1958): 3: 393-398. 
[The only complete scene among the fragmanets.]

The Breadshop







The Salzburg Dance of Death





[Salzburg Dance of Death] 
Eric Bentley


Sophocles' Antigone

(not included)





Judith Malina. 
New York: Applause, 1990.

The Tutor (J. M. R. Lenz)

(stricken from the current plan)

Ralph Manheim and Wolfgang Sauerlander




Pip Broughton. 
New York:  Applause, 1988. ( Series:  Old Vic Theatre collection ; v. 2.)

Coriolanus (Shakespeare)


Ralph Manheim





The Trial of Joan of Arc at Rouen, 1431 (Anna Seghers)


Ralph Manheim and Wolfgang Sauerlander





Don Juan (Molière)


Ralph Manheim





Trumpets and Drums (George Farquhar)


Rose and Martin Kastner





NOTE: The mark ^ denotes new additions this time October 2001. Collected Plays 4 was published in 2001.

  Collected Plays 8 is due 2002/2003. It will inlcude Antigone tr. David Constantine; The Days of the Commune: Tom Kuhn; Turandot: Tom Kuhn. The exact titles are to be confirmed.  {Thanks to Tom Kuhn for providing new information.}



There are also four adaptations published.

A Methuen modern play

Life of Galileo.
Howard Brenton.
London: Methuen, 1980.

A Methuen modern play

Good Person of Sichuan: a Parable Play.
Michael Hofmann.
Lond: Methuen, 1989.
(based on the Santa Monica version, 1943.)


Mother Courage and Her Children.
David Hare.
New York: Arcade, 1996.


The Good Person fo Szechwan.
Tony Kushner.
New York: Arcade, 1998.


Other Dramatic Works of Interest

Warren Hastings: A History in Three Acts. (Lion Feuchtwanger) 
"In collaboration with Bertolt Brecht"

Willa and Edwin Muir. 
Two Anglo-Saxon Plays
New York: Viking, 1928. 


Happy End (Dorothy Lane)
(Lane = E. Hauptmann)

Michael Feingold. 
(Methuen, London, 1972)

Michael Feingold. 
(New York: S. French, 1972)

The Threepenny Opera. (Screenplay by Leo Lania, Béla Balász, Ladislas Vajda)

London: Lorimer, 1984 


Purgatory in Ingolstadt. (Marieluise Fleißer)

Gitta Honegger. 
The Divided home/land: Contemporary German Women's Plays. Ed. Sue-Ellen Case. Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press, 1992. 

Gitta Honegger. 
Early 20th-Century German Plays. Ed. Margaret Herzfeld-Sander. New York: Continuum, 1998.

The Punitive Measure

Ruth Fischer (?). 
Stalin and German Communism: a Study in the Origins of the State Party. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1948. 
(A rough translation of The Decision.)


Johann Faustus: An opera libretto. (Hanns Eisler)

Peter Palmer. 
Hanns Eisler: a Miscellany. Ed. David Blake. Luxembourg: Harwood, 1995.


Brecht on Brecht: An Improvisation

George Tabori. 
New York: S. French, 1967.


Kuhle Wampe (or Who Owns the World?)

E. J. Campfield.

Prism International. 21(1982): 2: 37-50.

Act I only. Presumably based on the protocol of the film. Here the authors credited are bb and Ernst Ottwald. Also attached are 1. “Sound Film: KUHLE WAMPE or WHO OWNS THE WORLD?” 2. “A Small Contribution on the Subject of Realism” and 3. Screen Credits.


A list of English translations of Brecht's play can also be found in The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht by John Willett. Revised edition. London: Methuen: 1991.

An older list can be found in Bertolt Brecht. (World Dramatists Series) by Karl H. Schoeps. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1977.

Samuel French in New York and in London handle the production rights. 
See a list of available title.

FrenchBrecht plays in French: Théâtre complet. Paris: L'Arche, 1988.  8 Volumes.




Selected Poems
Translation and introduction by H. R. Hays. 
New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1947. 
(later: New York: Grove, 1959).


Bertolt Brechts Hauspostille.
Introduction and selected translations by Sidney Hillyer Bremer. 
Stanford: Standford UP, 1967


Manual of Piety
A bilingual edition of Die Hauspostille with English text by Eric Bentley and notes by Hugo Schmidt. 
New York: Grove Press, 1966. 
(and many reprints.) 


Selected Poems
Ed. K. Wölfel. 
London: Oxford University Press, 1965. 
in Series: Clarendon German series.


Poems on the Theatre
Translated by John Berger and Anna Bostock. 
Northwood Middlesex: Scorpion Press, 1961. 
(7 poems from the Messingkauf Dialogues.)

Poems, 1913-1956, 1998 reprint.

Poems: 1913-1956
Ed. John Willett and Ralph Manheim 
Rev. ed. London/New York: Methuen, 1987.


Poems & Songs from the Plays
Ed. and mainly translated by John Willett. 
London: Methuen, 1990. 


Bad Time for Poetry: 150 Poems and Songs
Ed. John Willett. 
London: Methuen, 1995.


East German Poetry: an Anthology
Ed. Michael Hamburger. 
New York: Dutton, 1973. 
(11 poems and Buckow Elegies I-XXI by Michael Hamburger.)


Songs of Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler
Ed. and trans. by Eric Bentley. 
New York: Oak, 1967. 
(42 songs in German and English, edited, with singable English translations and introductory notes by Eric Bentley. Music edited by Earl Robinson, with piano arrangements and guitar chords.)


"Epic Theater is Lyric Theater."
Eric Bentley.
in The German Theatre Today.
Ed. Leroy R. Shaw.
Austin: U. of Texas, 1963. 91-122.
[includes 19 poems.]


Uncle Eddie's Moustache: Twelve Poems for Children.
Trans. Muriel Rukeyser. 
New York: Pantheon, 1974.


War Primer
Ed. John Willett and Naomi Replansky. 
London: Libris, 1997.



The Threepenny Novel, Penguin, 1961

Threepenny Novel
Trans.  Desmond I. Vesey; verses translated by Christopher Isherwood. 
New York:, Grove Press,1956. 
(Originally titled: A Penny for the Poor. London: R. Hale & Company, 1937.)


Tales From the Calendar
Prose trans. by Yvonne Kapp; Verse trans. by Michael Hamburger. 
London: Methuen, 1961.


Stories of Mr. Keuner.

Trans. Martin Chalmers.

San Francisco: City Lights, 2001.


"Socrates Wounded."
Trans. Helmut W. Bonheim.
16(1956):4: 219-231.


“The Private Life of Mister Julius Caesar: An Extract.”

Trans. Dorothea Alexander.

Nimbus/New English Review.

4(1958): 2: 2-13.

Collected Stories, 1998 reissue.

Short Stories: 1921-1946
London / New York : Methuen, 1983. 
Ed. John Willett and Ralph Manheim. Trans. by Yvonne Kapp, Hugh Rorrison, and Antony Tatlow.


"Conversations in Exile." 
Adapted by Howard Brenton. From a translation by David Dollenmayer. 
Theater. 17(1986): 2: 8-18.

A Methuen modern play

The Messingkauf Dialogues
Translated by John Willett. 
London: Methuen, 1965.

Brecht on Theatre. 1997 reissue.

Brecht on Theatre: the Development of an Aesthetic
Translation and notes by John Willett. 
London: Methuen / New York: Hill and Wang, 1964.

(A list of essays translated to date can be found at the back of this book.)


"A Little Organum for the Theater." 
Trans. Beatrice Gottlieb.
Accent 11(1951): 1.

"A Short Organum for the Theatre (1948)." 
Trans. John Willett; and edited by Eric Bentley. 
Playwrights on Playwriting
Ed. Toby Cole. 
New York: Hill and Wang, 1961.


"Helene Weigel: On a Great German Actress." & "Weigel's Descent into Fame." 
Trans. John Berger and Anna Bostock. 
The Theory of the Modern Stage
Ed. Eric Bentley. 
London: Penguin, 1968. / 
Helene Weigel, Actress: a Book of Photographs
Edited by Wolfgang Pintzka. 
Leipzig: VEB Offizin Andersen Nexo, 1961.


"Prspectus of the Diderot Society." 
Trans. Modecai Gorelik. 
Gestus. 4(1991):6: 3-6.


"Against Georg Lukács."
Trans. Stuart Hood.
Aesthetics and Politics.
London: Verso, 1980.

1.[The Essays of Georg Lukács.]
2. On the Formalistic Character of the Theory of Realism.
3. [Remarks on an Essay.]
4. Popularity and Realism.
written during July 1937.

Journals: 1934-1955.

Journals: 1934-1955 Hugh Rorrison; ed. by John Willett. 
New York / London: Routledge, 1993.


Diaries 1920-1922
Edited by Herta Ramthun; translated and annotated with an introductory essay by John Willett. 
London: Methuen / New York: St. Martin's, 1979. 


Translated by Ralph Manheim and edited with commentary and notes by John Willett. 
London: Methuen / New York: Routledge, 1990. 


Eisler, Hanns and Adorno, Theodore W. 
Composing for the Films
New York: Oxford UP, 1947. (reprints: 1994).


Feuchtwanger, Lion.
Simone: a Novel.
Trans. G. A. Hermann.
New York: Viking, 1944.


Brecht on Film and Radio. Trans. and edited by Marc Silberman.

London: Methuen, 2001.

Note: Brecht on Art and Politics. Edited and translated by Tom Kuhn, Steve Giles, et al. is due in 2002.

Thirty Years of Treason edited by Eric Bentley is going to be reissued in January 2002. Contains bb’s and Hanns Eisler’s testimony before the HUAC and a translation of the “Decision” (Die Maßnahme).

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