Judith Malina was born on June 4th, 1926 in Germany. She is an actress, director, and writer. In 1947 she opened the Living Theater in New York City with husband Julien Beck.
“Julien Beck and I chose the name The Living Theatre because it seemed to be continuous. This name seemed to be ongoing, to be constantly growing and changing. And I think this is a necessary component of art.” The Living Theater has produced over a 100 productions, performed in 8 languages in 28 countries on 5 continents. Of these productions, The Living Theater is best remembered for Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, Tonight We Improvise, Many Loves, The Connection and The Brig. These five plays marked the start of the Off-Broadway movement.
For two decades they performed avant-garde and activist classics (Gertrude Stein, Lorca, Brecht) and naturalistic quasi-happenings. After many trials and tribulations (both literal and figurative), Malina was able to sign a ten-year lease on a new residential building. This location is the company’s first permanent home since 1993.
Malina continues to work for the “beautiful nonviolent anarchist revolution” on a daily basis. “If you want a world of nonviolence, if you want a world of freedom, you’ve got to figure it out. Nobody’s going to come and hand it to you and say ‘Here it is’. Not like that. It’s the people’s need for freedom and the people’s need for liberty. And that’s what we’re working for.”
Her advice for aspiring artists, theater owners, and beautiful nonviolent anarchists: “Study, study, study. Know everything that’s happening even now is enough, never mind history. If you can just understand what is happening today, what is happening to you, what is happening to art and theater, what is happening to life today - if we can understand that, it will be a step in the direction of solving our problems.”