Malina, unlike Piscator, was committed to nonviolence and anarchism. Malina met her husband, Beck, in 1943 when he was a student at Yale University. Beck, a painter, came to share her interest in political theatre and in 1947 the couple founded The Living Theatre. Malina appeared occasionally in films, beginning in 1975. In 2008 she was honored with an annual Artistic Achievement Award from the New York Innovative Theatre Awards (Ruth et al, 15-17). In 2009, she was honored with the Edwin Booth Award from the Doctoral Theatre Students Association of the City University of New York. Other awards include an honorary doctorate from Lehman College among others.
Julian Beck, an American actor, director, poet and painter, was born in New York City in 1925 and died in 1985. He briefly attended Yale University, but dropped out to pursue writing and art (Ruth et al, 41-42). He was an Abstract Expressionist painter in the 1940s, but his career turned upon meeting his future wife. He met her in 1943 and quickly came to share her passion for theatre; they founded The Living Theatre in 1947. Beck’s philosophy of theatre carried over into his life. He once said, “We insisted on experimentation that was an image for a changing society. If one can experiment in theatre, one can experiment in life.” He was indicted a dozen times on three continents for charges such as disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, possession of narcotics, and failing to participate in a civil defense drill (Takis 44). Besides his theatre work, Beck published several volumes of poetry reflecting his anarchist beliefs, two nonfiction books and had several film appearances. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1983 and died two years later.
The Living Theatre has staged nearly a hundred productions performed in eight languages in 28 countries on five continents. This is a unique body of work that has influenced theatre all over the ...