The Legacy of Judith Malina and Julian Beck with The Living Theatre

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The Legacy of Judith Malina and Julian Beck with The Living Theatre

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Nov 7, 2016
Nov 7, 2016
Segal Theatre
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Judith Malina and Julian Beck, 1961. Photo Courtesy of The Living Theatre Archive

Judith Malina and Julian Beck, 1961. Photo Courtesy of The Living Theatre Archive

Monday, November 7
Segal Theatre
6:30 Readings +
10:00am Screenings

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us for an evening celebrating the life and work of the late Judith Malina (June 4, 1926 – April 10, 2015), who was a regular participant and guest at many Segal Center evenings. Malina was a German-born American theatre and film actress, writer and director. In 1945, she became the student of the radical German political theatre director Erwin Piscator at The New School in New York. In 1947, with her husband and artistic partner Julian Beck (May 31, 1925 – September 14, 1985), Malina co-founded the highly influential The Living Theatre, a radical political theatre troupe that rose to prominence in New York City and Paris during the 1950s and 60s. Together they created legendary productions (The Brig, The Connection, Paradise Now, Antigone, Mysteries and Smaller Pieces, Frankenstein) until Beck’s death.

Just back from their 2016 US tour, join the The Living Theatre with Artistic Director Brad Burgess and Associate Artistic Director Monica Hunken as they read from diaries, manifestos, essays, and letters fromJulian Beck and Judith Malina. Compiled and adapted by Associate Archive Director Philip Schaffer. Followed by a discussion with Brad Burgess, Cindy Rosenthal, and Philip Schaffer. 

All-day screenings feature highlights of iconic works from The Living Theatre as well as a preview about this year’s 2016 Know Your Rites Tour.



Signals Through the Flames
, Sheldon Rochlin, 1983 | 97 mins
Signals Through the Flames is at once a history and a celebration of The Living Theatre. Founded in the late 1940s by husband-and-wife performers Julian Beck and Judith Malina, The Living Theatre was for many years the Predominant American outlet for the avant-garde movement.

The Connection, Shirley Clarke, 1961 | 110 mins
Allen Gisnberg brought critic Kenneth Tynan to The Connection written by Jack Gelber and directed by Judith Malina at The Living Theatre’s 14th Street theatre. Tynan’s review, provoked by Ginsberg’s appreciation of the play, and Jackie McLean and Freddie Redd’s music, made The Living a fixture in the downtown scene. This was Shirley Clarke’s first major film effort, and helped set her career in motion as well.

The Connection excerpt, 2009 | 10 mins
In 2009 The Living Theatre staged a 50th anniversary production of The Connection directed by and also featuring Malina. The production took place in the company’s new Clinton Street theater which closed in 2013.

The Brig, Jonas Mekas, 1964 | 68 mins
The Brig by Kenneth Brown was the last play The Living Theatre performed at its 14th Street theatre before being exiled from the U.S. for their criticism of the Marine Corps. Brown, a former Marine, wrote a day in the life piece based on his experience in a brig facility in Japan. Jonas Mekas filmed the play after the 14th Street theatre closed, in a midtown theater space that was also closed. But the crew and ensemble found a way into the space for the filmshoot, which won Best Documentary at the 1963 Venice Film Festival, when the panel mistook its realism for a documentary film.

The Brig excerpt, Evan True, 2007 | 10 mins
In 2007, The Living revived The Brig at the opening of its Clinton Street theater under Malina’s direction. The production was given two OBIE’s for ensemble and direction.

Love & Politics, Azad Jafarian, 2012 | 52 mins
The film follows Malina through her life in the Lower East Side after the death of her second husband, Hanon Reznikov. It premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival and has played in theatres in Europe and South America.

Know Your Rites, Jessica Daugherty, 2016 | 60 mins
Just this August, in the summer of 2016, The Living Theatre went on tour across America. The company revived a piece from the early 1970s, Seven Meditations on Political Sado-Masochism, which was created after The Living’s arrest and imprisonment at a D.O.P.S. torture prison under the Medici dictatorship in Brazil. The 2016 tour also included street performances related to the Seven Meditations, at places such as Monsanto headquarters in St. Louis, Boeing in Chicago, Haliburton, B.P. and Spectra Energy in Houston, Mormon Temple Square in Salt Lake City and more. This video montage combines these elements to show the companies investigation of the political climate in America, both in the theatre and in the streets. Join us for the premiere screening of the work‑in‑progress documentary, directed by Jessica Daugherty.

The Living Theatre. Founded in 1947 as an imaginative alternative to the commercial theater by Judith Malina, the German-born student of Erwin Piscator, and Julian Beck, an abstract expressionist painter of the New York School, The Living Theatre has staged nearly a hundred productions performed in eight languages in 28 countries on five continents – a unique body of work that has influenced theater the world over. The Living is heading to Europe for a workshop tour this winter, and will be developing the play Venus & Mars, which was left unfinished by Malina as its next new work in the years to come. www.LivingTheatre.org

Brad Burgess is the Artistic Director of The Living Theatre, after having worked with friend and mentor Judith Malina for 10 years until her passing in April 2015. He is an OBIE award-winning member of The Living Theatre ensemble. Brad is a founding board member of The Indie Theater Fund, an organization of 230-plus theatre companies that collectively tithes and fundraises to support independent theatre. He is a founding board member of Sophie Gerson’s Healthy Youth with former councilman Alan Gerson and many other NYC community leaders, an organization that provides arts, sports, and science programs to underprivileged kids in the city. He is a board member of The Assembly and FRIGID NY. He is an associate at The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He is also a workshop leader for the All Stars Project Cops & Kids program with the NYPD.

Monica Hunken creates solo shows which include, Reading the Water, Blondie of Arabia, The Wild Finish, and Hunker Down. In NY, she has been produced at Culture Project, The Living Theater, Polish Cultural Institute and HERE Arts Center. She has been produced in Australia’s Horse’s Mouth Festival, the Netherland’s DeParade and Fringe Festivals, Norway’s PIT festival, the Glastonbury Festival in England, among many other theaters across the globe. She is an avid cyclist, having ridden across more than 20 countries while also performing, teaching and leading creative direct action workshops.

Philip Santos Schaffer is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist, currently in his second year in Columbia University’s MFA Dramaturgy Program. BFA Production, focus in Directing, Hofstra University. Associate Archivist and company member, The Living Theatre. Philip is one fourth of the artistic team behind WalkUpArts. Plays by Philip include A PLAY ABOUT DREW CAREY (WalkUpArts, upcoming), I Live With William Walker (Columbia University, 2016), God Likes You (Columbia University, 2016), Alone With Living Creatures (WalkUpArts, 2014), and The Life of the Theatre, a full length play adapted from Julian Beck’s diary by the same name, and produced many times over the course of the past 3 years. For information on upcoming projects, visit walkuparts.org.

Cindy Rosenthal is Professor of Drama at Hofstra University and a performer and director. She coedited The Rise of Performance Studies: Rethinking Richard Schechner’s Broad Spectrum (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011) and Restaging the Sixties: Radical Theatres and their Legacies (U. Michigan, 2006) with James Harding. With Hanon Reznikov she coedited Living on Third Street: Plays of the Living Theatre 1989-1992 (Autonomedia, 2008). She has published essays inTheatre Survey, The New York Times, Women & Performance, Women: A Cultural Review, and TDR, including Fall 2016, “Circling Up with The Assembly.” She is the author of Ellen Stewart Presents: Fifty Years of La Mama Experimental Theatre, forthcoming from U. Michigan Press. Also forthcoming: The Sixties, Center Stage, coedited with Harding (U. Michigan) and with Julia Listengarten, Modern American Drama: Playwriting 2000-2009 (Bloomsbury/Methuen).

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