Also By This Author
“A powerful and loving portrait of Julian Beck, Judith Malina, the theatre they founded and the influence all three continue to have on our lives and culture.” Martin Sheen
The Living Theatre
Art, Exile, and Outrage
978-0-8021-3486-8 • $15.00 • Paperback • Feb. 1997
Just after the end of the Second World War two young, aspiring actors, Judith Malina and Julian Beck, dreamed of a theatre that would challenge the moral complacencies of their audience and shock the world. They called their company The Living Theatre because for them there could be no separation between art and everyday life, between performance and politics, between creativity and revolution.
The most radical, uncompromising, and experimental group in American theatrical history, it was also the most flamboyant and daring, both onstage and offattracting attention worldwide, violating many of the taboos of culture and government, and unleashing a backlash of arrests, imprisonments, and attempts at suppression. And they did all this while presenting the work of some of the world’s pre-eminent playwrights, in productions that have reshaped the way we look at and think about modern theater.
The story of The Living Theatre is also the story of the emergence of a New York avant-garde in the 1950s and the resulting counterculture of the 1960s. The company was a kind of theatrical tribe, creating and staging plays collectively, living communally, and cultivating an atmosphere of sexual openness and adventure. And what a cast of characters passes through these pages: Tennessee Williams, Frank O’Hara, Anaïs Nin, James Agee, Allen Ginsberg and the Beats, Jackson Pollock and the Abstract Expressionists, Dorothy Day, John Ashberry, Peggy Guggenheim, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Alan Hovhaness, and Maya Deren, among many others.
Tytell has captured the mood and the artistic and political challenges of one of the most dynamic eras in American cultural history and The Living Theatre should be read by everyone who shares a passion for the arts and knows the sacrifices that passion, at times, demands.