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28. 11. 2023
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    Divadelní noviny > Burza Zahraničí

    Zemřela Judith Malina

    FOTO archiv

    60. léta. FOTO archiv

    Judith Malina

    4. 6. 1926 Kiel (Německo) – 10. 4. 2015 Englewood (stát New Jersey, USA)

    Herečka, režisérka, básnířka, dramatička, občanská aktivistka, divadelní a politická vizionářka, spoluzakladatelka jednoho z nejvlivnějších amerických divadel 60. let minulého století Living Theatre. Založila je v roce 1947 v New Yorku se svým manželem Julianem Beckem. Radikálními vystoupeními a akcemi, texty i filmy oslovili a inspirovali několik generací umělců po celém světě včetně tehdejšího Československa, které tajně navštívili v roce 1983. V Praze v hospodě Na Ořechovce tehdy uvedli představení Antigona. Jazzová sekce poté vydala o Living Theatre sborník (ed. Petr Oslzlý a Jaroslav Kořán), obsahující rozhovory s nimi a reportáž z utajeného pražského představení. V srpnu 1990 na pozvání Petra Oslzlého a Ondřeje Hraba hostovali v Praze a Brně (a Malina vedla dílnu).

    Jazzpetit Jazzové sekce. Repro archiv

    Jazzpetit Living Theatre Jazzové sekce. Repro archiv

    Se svým mužem a dlouholetým spolupracovníkem, hercem a režisérem Julianem Beckem se Malina seznámila v roce 1943, kdy jí bylo sedmnáct a on byl studentem Yape University. V roce 1947 založili Living Theatre, které společně vedli až do Beckovy smrti v roce 1985. V roce 1988 se vdala za herce Living Theatru Hanona Reznikova, se kterým dále řídila Living Theatre. Svá sídla a výchozí působiště měli nejen v New Yorku, ale i v Itálii a se svými produkcemi cestovali po celém světě, a to až do Reznikovovy smrti v roce 2008. Poté již zůstala Malina v New Yorku, kde měla byt. Posledním oficiálním působištěm Living Theatru byla newyorská 21 Clinton Street, kde soubor působil až do roku 2013. V současné době pokračuje pod vedením Brada Burgesse, Toma Walkera a Garricka Becka. Jejich scénou jsou – jak sami prohlašují – ulice New Yorku.

    Judith Malina měla dvě děti: syna Garricka a dceru Ishu Mannu, obě s Julianem Beckem. Měla tři vnoučata a dvě pravnoučata.

    Pohřbena je vedle svých partnerů Juliana Becka a Hanona Reznikova v cedrovém hřbitovním parku v Oradelli v New Jersey.

    /Pro i-DN zpracoval hul/


    FOTO archiv

    FOTO archiv

    Judith Malina

    1926 – 2015

    Personifying the 1960s countercultural challenge to traditionalism, self-proclaimed anarchist and pacifist Judith Malina once likened herself to a biblical prophet, railing at but never dissociating herself from her people. Founder, with Julian Beck, of the experimental Living Theatre, she aimed at dissolving the separation between actor and character, cast and audience, art and politics.

    Born on June 4, 1926, in Kiel, Germany, to Rabbi Max Malina and Rosel Zamora, a retired Polish-Jewish actress, Judith immigrated to New York with her parents in 1928. At age seven she appeared at an anti-Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden and shortly after wrote her first poem, for Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. By 1938, she was helping her father send pamphlets to Germany, asking, “Do You Know What Has Happened to Your Jewish Neighbors?” She was naturalized in 1944. Throughout her life, the influence of her family’s cultural and religious beliefs continued. Often her diary records the Jewish holidays on which activities took place.

    Broadwayská herečka konce 40. let. FOTO archiv

    Broadwayská herečka, 2. polovina 40. let. FOTO archiv

    Dropping out of high school when her father died in 1940, Malina met and began her association with Beck, held various unskilled jobs, and studied acting and directing with Irwin Piscator at the New School for Social Research, debuting as an actress in August 1945. In April of 1948, she and Beck, to whom she was married from October 30, 1948, until his death in 1985, incorporated the Living Theatre, which eventually produced more than seventy-five plays. Their son, Garrick Maxwell, later an actor, was born on February 17, 1949. Her daughter, Isha [sic] (from Genesis “and she shall be called woman”), who later acted with the Living, was born on July 19, 1967. Among her critically acclaimed presentations at the Cherry Hill Theater were Pirandello’s Tonight We Improvise, Gertrude´s Stein´s Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights, and the premiere of William Carlos Williams’s Many Loves.

    Expelled by the Cherry Hill management, the Living Theatre eventually settled in its own Fourteenth Street loft. Malina translated Antonin Artaud’s iconoclastic The Theater and Its Double and continued developing avant-garde theatrical approaches with Beck, presenting Jack Gelber’s The Connection (1959) and Kenneth Brown’s The Brig (1963). Touring Europe, Malina directed the company’s collective creations, The Mysteries and Frankenstein, and in France, influenced by the Free Speech Movement, helped create Paradise Now (1965). Leaving France after its performances were disrupted by hecklers, the company toured the United States throughout 1968. Self-exiled again in early 1969, Malina celebrated a [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:391]seder[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] aboard ship en route to Europe. In 1971, the company performed street theater in Brazil until jailed and expelled as incendiary. The company then settled in France until 1983, when it returned to America.

    For her work, Malina received the Lola d’Annunzio award (1959); Page One Award (1960); Obie Award (1960, 1964, 1969, 1975, 1987, 1989); Creative Arts Citation, Brandeis University (1961); Grand Prix du Théâtre des Nations (1961); Paris Critics Circle medallion (1961); Prix de L’Université de Paris (1961); New England Theater Conference Award (1962); Olympio Prize (1967); and a Guggenheim fellowship (1985).

    S Julianem Beckem. FOTO archiv

    S Julianem Beckem, 60. léta. FOTO archiv

    Besides teaching at New York University and Columbia University, Malina appeared on the Molly Goldberg series and in such movies as Enemies: A Love Story, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Addams Family. Archivist for the Living Theatre, New York State writer-in-residence, publisher of diaries, translations, essays, and cofounder of Akashic Records, which preserves sacred texts, Malina also wrote poetry throughout her career. In 1982 she issued Poems of a Wandering Jewess, adapted as a jazz cycle by Steve Lacey (recorded in 1995).

    An antiwar activist since the 1950s, she belonged to Women Strike for Peace, the General Strike for Peace, the U.S. Committee for Latin American Political Prisoners, American Friends of Brazil, the War Resisters’ League, and the Industrial Workers of the World. Influenced by Dorothy Dix and Martin Buber, she rejected the Bible as “barbarous” but found compassion in the siddur; in 1984, the New York Humanist church named her Humanist of the Year.

    S Hanonem Reznikovem. FOTO archiv

    S Hanonem Reznikovem, 90. léta. FOTO archiv

    In 1988, she married Hanon Reznikov, a long-time writer-director in the Living Theatre.

    A central figure among the radical New York intelligentsia of the 1960s, Malina opposed American Jewry’s hostility toward unity between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis, arguing that all God’s creations have to work in concert with Him. In her poetry, Malina powerfully exploits religious imagery as cultural reminiscence and explication of current actions. Best known for using mime, improvisation, and audience participation in the Living’s performances, she has continued to encourage innovative new playwrights. In 2004 Malina and her late husband Julian Beck were inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. That same year, they played themselves (through archival footage of Beck) in the documentary Resist!: To Be with the Living, a profile of Malina, Beck and the Living Theatre they created.


    Antigone, by Sophocles. Adapted by Bertolt Brecht based on German translation by Friedrich Hölderlin. Translated into English by Judith Malina (1990); The Diaries of Judith Malina: 1947–1957 (1984); The Enormous Despair: The Diary of Judith Malina, August 1968 to April 1969 (1972); Entretiens avec le Living Theatre, with Julian Beck and Jean-Jacques Lebel (1969); The Legacy of Cain: Three Pilot Projects: A Collective Creation of the Living Theatre, with Julian Beck (1972); The Life of the Theatre: The Relation of the Artist to the Struggle of the People, by Julian Beck. Foreword by Judith Malina (1986); Living theater heisst Leben: von einer, d. Auszog, d. Auszog. D. Leben zu lerner, with Imke Buchholz (1978); A Monster Has Stolen the Sun and Other Plays, by Karen Malpede. Preface by Judith Malina (1987); Paradise Now: Collective Creation of the Living Theatre, with Julian Beck (1971); Poems of a Wandering Jewess (1982. 2d ed. 1984); Seven Meditations on Political Sado-Masochism: A Collective Creation of the Living Theatre (1973); Theandric: Julian Beck’s Last Notebooks, by Julian Beck. Edited by Erica Builder, notes by Judith Malina (1992); Theatre Trip, by Michael Townsend Smith. Introduction by Judith Malina and Julian Beck (1969); We, the Living Theatre, by Gianfranco Mantegna. Introduction by a Panel Discussion on Theatre as Revolution Coordinated by Aldo Rostagno, with the Participation of Julian Beck and Judith Malina (1970).


    Biner, Pierre. The Living Theatre: A History Without Myths. Translated by Robert Meister (1972); Fedo, David. William Carlos Williams: A Poet in the American Theatre (1983); Lester, Elenore. “The Living Theatre Presents: Revolution! Joy! Protest! Shock! Etc.!” NYTimes Magazine (October 13, 1968. Reprinted April 14, 1996): 96; Neff, Renfreu. The Living Theatre: USA (1970); Silvestro, Carlo, ed. The Living Book of the Living Theatre (1971); Tytell, John. The Living Theatre: Art, Exile, and Outrage (1995).


    Judith Malina died on April 10, 2015 in Englewood, New Jersey.  Her obituary in the New York TImes was printed on April 10, 2015 Judith Malina, Founder of the Living Theater, Dies at 88.


    Judith Malina, Founder of the Living Theater, Dies at 88

    Judith Malina v roce 2007. FOTO SARA KRUTWICH

    Judith Malina v roce 2007. FOTO SARA KRUTWICH

    Judith Malina, an actor and director who with her husband, Julian Beck, founded the Living Theater, a troupe of activists and provocateurs who advanced the idea of political theater in America, catalyzed fierce debate over their methods and intentions, and in the name of art ran afoul of civic authorities on three continents, died on Friday in Englewood, N.J. She was 88.

    Her death, at the Lillian Booth Actors Home, was confirmed by a friend and playwright, Karen Malpede. Ms. Malina had lung disease caused by years of smoking.

    For movie and television buffs, especially those not old enough to remember beatniks, Lenny Bruce, Vietnam War protests or other symbols of remonstration against Eisenhower-era complacency, Ms. Malina was best known as a character actress. She appeared on “The Sopranos” (as Aunt Dottie, a dying nun who reveals to the gangster known as Paulie Walnuts that she is actually his mother) and in films including “The Addams Family,” Woody Allen’s “Radio Days” and, perhaps most memorably, “Dog Day Afternoon,” as the anguished and frantic mother of Sonny Wortzik, the misguided bank robber played by Al Pacino.

     Ms. Malina, right, with Isha Manna Beck in "Anarchia," at the Living Theater, in the mid-1990s. FOTO MIKE FREY

    Se svou dcerou Ishou Manna Beck v inscenaci Anarchia (Living Theater) v polovině 90. let. FOTO MIKE FREY

    But she steered a far more emphatic and influential course with the troupe sometimes known simply as the Living, which occupied the leading edge of stage experimentation in the 1950s and 1960s and both fed and fed on the counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s. It was perhaps the most prominent and persistent advocate for a “new theater,” one that sought to dissolve the accepted artifice of stage presentations, to conjoin art and political protest, and to shrink, if not eliminate, the divide between performers and the audience.

    A diminutive woman (journalists often noted that she weighed less than 100 pounds) who studied acting and directing with Erwin Piscator, the German director and theorist who, like Brecht, was a proponent of epic theater, Ms. Malina was tireless and passionate in advancing the idea that theater can be, and should be, a blunt force for cultural change. She and Mr. Beck, an Expressionist painter as a young man who became renowned as a set designer, considered themselves anarchists and pacifists, and their productions were statements as much as performances.

    Idealistic and fervent, they began planning a new kind of theater company in 1947, when she was 21 and he a year older. The troupe’s first public production, Gertrude Stein’s “Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights,” was staged in 1951 at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village.

    Their belief that the theater and real life are part of an experiential continuum drew them, at first, to present plays written in verse or otherwise abstract language — they produced work by Kenneth Rexroth, T. S. Eliot, Paul Goodman, Jean Cocteau, W. H. Auden and William Carlos Williams, among others — and to involve their audiences in the action of their shows in defiance of the so-called fourth wall, the conventional presumption of separation of the actors from the audience.

    S Julianem Beckem. FOTO archiv

    S Julianem Beckem v éře hippies. FOTO archiv

    We believe in the theater as a place of intense experience, half-dream, half-ritual, in which the spectator approaches something of a vision of self-understanding, going past conscious to unconscious, to an understanding of the nature of all things, Mr. Beck wrote in The New York Times in 1959. He added that only the language of poetry can accomplish this, only poetry or a language laden with symbols and far removed from our daily speech can take us beyond the ignorant present toward these realms.

    The period of Mr. Beck and Ms. Malina’s greatest impact and notoriety began in the late 1950s with productions that included groundbreaking dramas like The Connection (1959), Jack Gelber’s harrowing depiction of a den of heroin addicts, and The Brig (1963), Kenneth H. Brown’s portrayal of a harsh day in the life of a Marine prison. (Both were made into films.) It was during the run of “The Brig” that the Living was shut down by the Internal Revenue Service — an event that led to demonstrations outside the company’s home at West 14th Street and Avenue of the Americas, with placards bearing slogans like “Art Before Taxes.”

    Mr. Beck and Ms. Malina represented themselves at their trial, arguing that it was both wrong and unreasonable for the government to take away their theater without making a good-faith effort to help them save it, and that their nonviolent civil disobedience was a reaction against the unfair administration of the law. But they also turned the trial into a loopy spectacle that included rambling speechifying, outbursts of protest and Ms. Malina’s recitation of her poems.

    The human heart and the human mind have to examine the rigidity of the law, Ms. Malina said in summing up the case to the jury, which convicted her, Mr. Beck and the Living Theater on several counts surrounding the crime of impeding federal agents from seizing the assets of the tax-delinquent theater.

    Innocent! Ms. Malina exclaimed, each time the prosecutor, Peter K. Leisure, used the word “guilty.” Judge Edmund Palmieri reprimanded her.

    You can cut out my tongue, but you cannot stop me from saying that I am innocent, she responded. I will not grant you that privilege, sir.

    Mr. Malina and Mr. Beck were fined and given brief jail sentences, though pending an appeal they were allowed to leave for Europe, where the Living had bookings, and they and the company went into self-imposed exile.

    As time went on, their shows, which included adaptations of “Antigone” and “Frankenstein,” were staged, usually by Ms. Malina, with mounting radical fervor and an application of techniques that tended to sublimate artistic craft in favor of political passion and to blur the distinction between performance and real life. Living Theater productions through the 1960s were increasingly characterized by improvisation, and troupe members addressed spectators directly, encouraging them to participate vocally as if contributing to a spontaneously evolving script and even exhorting them to join the troupe onstage or exit the theater and take the performance into the streets.

    The company’s most notorious show, Paradise Now , consisted of a jumble of nonlinear vignettes, theater games, ritualistic exercises, group embraces and volleys of incantatory anticapitalist slogans and other epithets, some encouraging sexual abandon and marijuana use, often culminating with members of the company and the audience taking off their clothes. The vehemence of the revolutionary message and its delivery joined the Living irrevocably to the more perfervid nonviolent strain of the 1960s counterculture.

    I demand everything — total love, an end to all forms of violence and cruelty such as money, hunger, prisons, people doing work they hate, Ms. Malina explained in a 1968 interview with The New York Times Magazine about the sort off revolution her theater wanted to engender. We can have tractors and food and joy. I demand it now!

    V Paradise Now. FOTO archiv

    V Paradise Now. FOTO archiv

    Performances of “Paradise Now” often generated chaos in the theater and controversy outside it. In Europe, where the Living became a collective (operating as, in one reporter’s words, “a tribe or an anarchist’s commune”) and commanded a large and youthful following that newspapers routinely described as hippies, the police were called to shut down or prevent performances of “Paradise Now” and other Living shows in Rome, Avignon and elsewhere. In 1968 the Living returned to the United States, where, after a performance at Yale, several members of the company and the audience were arrested for indecent exposure.

    The Living subsequently appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where their performances engendered, in addition to the usual raucous reception, a critical war waged in print, including in The New York Times, where critics including Walter Kerr and Eric Bentley dismissed the Living as jejune and antitheatrical, and Clive Barnes, who approved of the company’s invention and physicality, saw in it a melding of theater and dance.

    The critic Richard Gilman wrote of the Living’s “Antigone” in The Atlantic: “The play is nearly intolerable whenever it has to be acted, whenever lines have to be spoken and consciousness invoked,” adding, “It is evident from the beginning that whatever else it has become, the Living Theater has lost almost all its never more than marginal abilities for the rudimentary processes of acting: speech, characterization, the assumption of new invented life.”

    Writing in Saturday Review, however, Henry Hewes declared, What they have done with Brecht’s 1947 version of Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ is incredible and enormous. He added: This ‘Antigone’ makes theatrical history with its fierce totality of commitment. It is beyond theater.

    FOTO archiv

    The Living Theater wants nothing less than to rewrite the theatrical contract.FOTO archiv

    Ms. Malina was born in Kiel, a port city in northern Germany, on June 4, 1926. Her mother, Rosel Zamojre, had been an aspiring actress before she married Max Malina, a rabbinical student who became a leading cleric after the family moved to New York City. There, according to John Tytell’s exhaustive book, “The Living Theatre: Art, Exile and Outrage” (1995), Ms. Malina met Mr. Beck in 1943, when she was just 17, and together they undertook a cultural education, attending the theater, visiting museums and reading modernist writers like Joyce, Pound and Cocteau. Ms. Malina worked as a singing waitress in a Greenwich Village bar and eventually enrolled in Piscator’s workshop at the New School for Social Research.

    In the 1970s and early 1980s, the Living again spent much of its time out of the country, partly in Europe and partly in Brazil, where Ms. Malina and Mr. Beck were once again arrested, this time for marijuana possession, though they said they were innocent, and supporters of the company suspected that the authorities were wary of the work they were preparing, a series of short politically tinged plays to be performed in the streets of the town of Ouro Preto. After their arrest, protests from cultural figures around the world, including Susan Sontag and Jean-Paul Sartre, focused attention on their plight, and they were released but expelled from the country.

    Julian Beck died in 1985. Ms. Malina’s survivors include their two children, Isha Manna and Garrick Maxwell Beck; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

    In 1988, Ms. Malina married Hanon Reznikov, who wrote and performed in many Living productions and who had been running the company since Mr. Beck’s death. For a time they established a theatrical home on East Third Street in Lower Manhattan, until the city’s Buildings Department closed the theater in 1993.

    V  Lillian Booth Actors Home v Englewoodu v květnu 2014. FOTO VIOREL FLORESCU

    Poslední období svého života trávila v Lillian Booth Actors Home v Englewoodu (snímek je z května 2014). FOTO VIOREL FLORESCU

    The company continued to produce work motivated by contemporary political concerns, including the two Persian Gulf wars, the Wall Street bailouts and income inequality, presenting it on different New York City stages; they also created site-specific new works in Italy and Lebanon. Just before Mr. Reznikov’s unexpected death in 2008, the theater established another home in Lower Manhattan, on Clinton Street. There Ms. Malina directed Mr. Reznikov’s last play, “Eureka!,” based on a dense late work about the origins of life by Edgar Allan Poe, showing that the company had lost none of its ambition and energy.

    The Living Theater wants nothing less than to rewrite the theatrical contract, Rachel Saltz began her review of “Eureka!” in The Times. Viewers can no longer remain passive spectators hidden in the dark. There is no fourth wall, so they must become participants. In ‘Eureka!’ — a mix of science class, happening, utopian dream and group hug — that means helping out with a mighty task: creating the universe.

    The Living was evicted from its Clinton Street space in 2013 but staged Ms. Malina’s “Nowhere to Hide” at the Burning Man Festival in 2014. The troupe will continue to produce work under the leadership of Brad Burgess, Tom Walker and Garrick Beck, who will share directorial duties, with Mr. Burgess as artistic director, Mr. Beck said in an email.







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    • Publikováno: 30. dubna 2015

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