Mother Courage and Her Children


Writers: Bertolt Brecht


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Historical/Biographical
Time & Place
1624-1636, sweden, poland, germany
Cast Size
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, young adult, mature adult, child, early teen, late teen, elderly characters


Mother Courage and Her Children, follows one mother -- Mother Courage -- and her three children -- Eilif, Swiss Cheese, and Kattrin -- as they struggle to survive the Thirty Years War that ravaged Europe in the early 17th century. As a canteen woman, Mother Courage attempts to make a profit off the war by selling goods to soldiers. The very war that Mother Courage seeks to use to her advantage, however, ends up depriving her life of all its worth. At the end of the play Mother Courage is left bereft and alone to make her way in the world, moving forward the only way she knows how: following an army regiment, pulling her wagon behind her, and hawking her wares. Created in 1939 by Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children, is considered one of the most powerful anti-war plays in existence, and was written in just over a month near the beginning of World War II to protest the rise of Fascist Germany.

Lead Characters

Mother Courage and Her Children guide sections