Theatre-makers can take all manner of approaches to reality. Some, like the classical Realists, take it as read and seek to reproduce it. Others, like the Symbolists, understand it as a veil that hides a different set of truths. Brecht, as a practitioner profoundly influenced by his readings of Marx from the mid-1920s onwards, took a different stance.
For him reality was being continually created from the contradictions that pervade any given society at any given time. That is, society was unstable, volatile and unpredictable; its contradictions meant that things could change and forge new realities. Consider:
the effects of a general election and the changes of policy that might ensue
the discovery of a new technology and the ways it might affect jobs, industry and our experience of everyday life
an act of war and the social, political and physical impact of industrial violence.
Yet change can also occur on a far smaller scale, too:
a lottery win or redundancy can transform a person’s fortunes and their views and behaviour
a newspaper, a television programme or an online article can change a person’s opinion of a politician, a store or a set of ideas, each with implications for the way they live their life
the death of a friend may lead to outrage at the conditions under which that person died or to a drive to improve the lot of people in similar conditions.
In each example, reality is remade after a material experience.
If reality is malleable, then change is always possible. Brecht sought to demonstrate this principle in his theatre practice.