The Living Theater Kicks Off First National Tour in Decades

Living Theatre Know Your Rites

Our friends at the Living Theatre are hosting an open dress rehearsal tomorrow at University Settlement’s Performance Project in celebration of their upcoming “Know Your Rites” national tour. It is the first time the company has traveled to multiple American cities in many decades; it is also the first full-fledged production they have presented since co-founder Judith Malina’s passing, in April of 2015.

The play, titled “Seven Meditations on Political Sadomasochism,” is a revival of one of the company’s celebrated pieces. According to their indiegogo page, it is “a visceral examination of the social contract between the governed and the government. It was written after Malina and members of the company were imprisoned-and some tortured-by the Médici dictatorship in Brazil in 1973.”

The 3-week tour will also feature workshops, ritualistic street performances and readings from Malina’s writings and excerpts from her last book, Full Moon Poems.

Artistic Director Brad Burgess told us, “The sadistic nature of this election is very clear on many fronts I think…We talk about politics as anarchist pacifists, in a way that we don’t have to talk about voting only, or candidates or parties as the way to have political dialogue.  Our hope is that we can engage in dialogue and action that encourages people to consider being more politically active on their own behalf and on behalf of others.”

As far as new leadership roles within The Living Theatre as the company moves forward, Burgess said, “we do things as collectively as possible, especially as we figure out how to do things without Judith, for the first time in the company’s history since she started it in 1947.  No one directed this play for instance, since it was a revival, we learned it together guided by the folks who had done it before.”

The troupe is running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the tour.

University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street | 7:30pm to 10:30pm | $10 suggested donation