Legendary Living Theatre on the Brink; Can it Survive?

A still from the documentary “Love and Politics” with Judith Malina. Directed by Azad Jafarian. The film will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 29th.

Since its inception as a pioneer in avant-garde theater and experimentation, way back in 1947, The Living Theatre‘s work has revolved around messages of injustice, peaceful anarchy, struggle and revolution.  A new film, “Love and Politics,” about co-founder Judith Malina and the company, will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 29th. The film offers a slice of 85-year old Malina’s contemporary life, and documents some of the recent struggles in the company’s current home at 21 Clinton Street.

We recently sat down with the Living Theatre’s executive producer, Brad Burgess, to discuss the company’s current state of affairs.  Burgess was a 23 year old actor in the company who stepped in to assist Malina after the death of her partner, Hanon Reznikov, in 2008. The company had just returned from almost thirty years abroad, touring internationally and around the U.S., without a permanent home. They found the space on Clinton Street in 2005, renovated it and opened with much fanfare in 2007.