Revived and Restructured, Undergroundzero Festival Kicks Off Tonight

The newly revived undergroundzero festival is kicking off a month-long celebration of experimental theater, dance and performance tonight with an impressive roster of free events at this year’s home base, The Living Theatre.  

After taking last year off, the festival, which began in 2007, has been restructured as a cooperative made up of 11 participating resident artists and companies that will present work of their own choosing.  I spoke with founder and Artistic Director Paul Bargetto and Executive Director Connie Hall about putting together the festival and where they hope to take it in the future.

One More Day to Help the Living Theatre Survive

A still from the documentary Love and Politics with Judith Malina. The film debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Today is the final day of a crowdfunding campaign to save the Living Theatre. As we have been reporting for the past couple of months, the legendary experimental company, co-founded by Judith Malina, is in a major financial bind and on the verge of being evicted from its Clinton Street home.   As of this morning, the Lucky Ant project had raised $18,460 of the $24,000 needed. The Living Theater will only receive the money if the full amount is raised in the next 14 hours.  The $24,000 will go towards paying the rent and hiring a business consultant to help the theatre come up with a long-term survival plan. You can check out our previous coverage of this story here. If you want to make a last minute donation, head on over to Lucky Ant’s web site.


The Living Theatre Turns to Crowd Funding in Bid For Survival

Last month, we told you about the plight of the legendary Living Theater on Clinton Street.   Co-founder Judith Malina temporarily averted eviction from the performance space as well as her apartment located above the theater.  The experimental institution’s troubles are not over, though. The bills keep piling up – and the theater’s long-term future is uncertain.

Now crowdfunding start-up Lucky Ant is trying to help.  The Living Theater is the featured project on Lucky Ant’s web site; the goal is to raise $24,000 in the next 13 days not only to pay the rent but to hire a consultant who will help Malina and company develop a five year financial plan.

Watch the video posted above to hear about the dire situation in Malina’s own words and see more info about the fundraising campaign here.

You might also want to have a look at this passionate plea from John Clancy (a founding artistic director of the Fringe Festival) about the importance of saving the Living Theater.


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.

The Living Theatre Celebrates New Year’s Eve with Debut Production

Continuing our Lower East Side New Year’s Eve roundup, here’s an intriguing way to ring in 2012: The historic, avant-garde theater company The Living Theatre will be debuting their production, The History of the World, written by the living legend, artist and activist Judith Malina. The play is the culmination of a collaboration the theatre company has been working on with Snowy Wilderness (of the arts/fashion collaborative in downtown Brooklyn and member of the Occupy Brooklyn Movement) who will be “curating” the evening.   The party will include a pre-release event for Defrag, an international ipad magazine on culture.

Weekend Kids’ Pick

ITSWA! and other kid-friendly shows at the NY Fringe Festival this weekend

This weekend, check out the local, kid-friendly offerings from the New York Fringe Festival. On Friday at 2, see Goldilocks and the Three Polar Bears at the CSV Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk. This musical production about a spoiled brat learning to live within a large family includes puppetry and comedy. On Friday at 4 and Saturday at noon, see  ISTWA! Storytime for a small world at The Living Theatre, 21 Clinton. The all-ages show is one hour of folktales from around the world, told in a uniquely physical way.

For more information about this and other kids events, visit our kids page.

Judith Malina’s KORACH to Debut at The Living Theatre

Living Legend Judith Malina has been hard at work on a new show with her vigorous ensemble of players at The Living Theatre. Now in their 63rd season, (you read that correctly) Malina has begun previews for her latest experimental production, KORACH. They note that the piece is “a new play based on the Biblical account of Korach, ‘the first recorded anarchist in history,’ who challenged the authority of Moses over the Israelites; a pivotal point in their 40-year trek through the desert after their liberation from Egyptian slavery.” For more about the show and the historic Living Theatre, visit (Off)broadwayworld here.  The show will officially open on December 16. $20 (Wed. pay-what-you-can) // Wed.-Sat. // 8pm // 21 Clinton Street.

My LES: Brad Burgess

This weekly feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side.  If you have someone you would like to recommend for “My LES,” please email us here.

What do you do?

I’m the Associate Artistic Director and Administrative Director at The Living Theatre, as well as Personal and Business Manager to Judith Malina, Artistic Director of The Living Theatre.

15 Seconds – What I Love About the Lower East Side

Living Legend Judith Malina, from The Living Theatre on why she loves the LES.

Posted by Traven Rice