Organization

The Living Theatre



BAM Affiliation The Living Theatre was co-founded in 1947 by the abstract expressionist painter Julian Beck and Judith Malina, who was a student of Erwin Piscator, one of Germany's foremost proponents of epic theater. After over 15 years of presenting work by American and European vanguard writers such as Gertrude Stein, John Ashbery, Jean Cocteau, and Bertolt Brecht, the Living Theatre began working as a nomadic collective. From the mid-1960s through the 70s, the ensemble created and presented many of its hallmark works, which included politically charged pieces such as Paradise Now, in which audience members were confronted directly and encouraged to participate in theatrical rituals that questioned societal mores around topics of sexuality, drugs, labor, and war. During this period the Living Theatre presented repertory at BAM twice, in 1968 and 1969, when they played works such as Frankenstein, The Antigone of Sophokles, Mysteries and Smaller Pieces, and Paradise Now. In one amusing anecdote, Harvey Lichtenstein recalls a BAM guard telling him that each morning after the Living Theatre's 1969 rehearsals, he would find the balcony of the playhouse strewn with underwear.




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