As cofounder of the internationally-known, highly-controversial radical political troupe, The Living Theater, author Judith Malina is one of the leading female countercultural figures of the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. in FULL MOON STAGES: PERSONAL NOTES FROM 50 YEARS OF THE LIVING THEATRE, she creates an intimate memoir in a unique format with a collection of personal notes written on every full moon for 50 years from 1964 to 2014. These never-before-published entries reveal Malina’s most private thoughts and inform the reader on what The Living Theatre was performing as they wound their way from New York City to Italy, France, Belgium, Germany and Brazil in a nomadic series of notable performances of such underground classics as The Brig, The Connection, and Paradise Now. Malina is relentless in her commitment to the full moon schedule, writing regardless of her current life circumstance. Notes issue forth from hotels, trains—even prison, offering a light on the consequences of holding true to her code of the theatrical expression of her pacifist-anarchist principles. The book’s format is well-suited for modern readers interested in history of the counterculture. In addition, the book includes 30+ rare historical photos from Living Theatre archives.
FULL MOON STAGES: PERSONAL NOTES FROM 50 YEARS OF THE LIVING THEATRE, by Judith Malina Biography & Autobiogray: Personal Memoir; ISBN 978-1-941110-25-6 trade paper; ISBN 978-1-941110-26-3 ebook; 226 pages; $18.95 Publication date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
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High Praise for THE LIVING THEATRE and JUDITH MALINA
“FULL MOON STAGES transcends the reception model that comprises most books, by which one simply absorbs information in the hope of better understanding the subject matter at hand, and demands of the reader an intensity of psychic and durative commitment that is difficult to summon in these days of instantaneity. This book-length poem privileges experientiality over intellectual understanding, asking that you take the trip and allow yourself to be changed by the journey. If one commits to taking the Malinian trip, this story of a life, told sequentially yet in fragments, as if it were an existence illuminated by lightning bolts, is one of the most powerful interactions I’ve ever had with a piece of nonfiction. As I sat at the table after finishing it, tears streaming down my face, I could not help but reflect on all that remained to be done.” —American Theatre Magazine
“For some, a life in the theater means Broadway or, for those who have other lives but never lost the bug, perhaps local community productions. But regional and experimental theater are often their own hardscrabble, thrilling existence. And no one typified that better than Judith Malina, the pioneering cofounder of the radical, politically fiery troupe The Living Theater. Malina has performed all over the world and even went to jail for her convictions. But come hell or high water, on every full moon she wrote a new entry in the diary of her life. This memoir collects those frank and funny observations, creating a biography of her career and a record of the movement she helped steer for decades.” —Book Filter
“An exceptional memoir rich with detail and an inherently fascinating read from beginning to end. Of special note is the succinct dedication by Al Pacino. FULL MOON STAGES is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Theatrical History and Theatrical Biography reference collections.” —Midwest Book Review
“For fifty years, Malina kept a journal, recording what she and her troupe were doing during every full moon . . . It becomes a sketchbook, a framework of ideas stretching across generations. Full Moon Stages is a work of broad strokes that . . . paints an intimate portrait of an innovator and her uncompromising vision of what theater can be.” —Manhattan Book Review
“A minimalist, touchingly intimate record of a phenomenally active life. . . . The music of the repetition, its insistent organizing principle, functions like the serial arrangement in Cage, Steve Reich, or Phillip Glass, and it provides a haunting resonance. The impact on a reader over 200 pages is cumulative. Even though Malina’s lens may be tightly focused, the scope of her story stretches over a half-century.” —LA Review of Books
“The single most influential American company of its era.” —Stephen J. Bottoms, author, Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement
“The most radical, uncompromising, and experimental group in American theatrical history.” —John Tytell, author, The Living Theatre: Art, Exile, and Outrage
“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.” —New York Times
“The thing about Judith Malina is that she is indefatigable, unstoppable, erupting with ideas.” —Richard Schechner, from the introduction to The Piscator Notebook
About Judith Malina
Judith Malina (1926–2015) was a German-born American theater and film actress, writer, and director. With Julian Beck, she founded The Living Theatre, a radical anarchist-pacifist political theatre troupe that rose to prominence in New York City and Paris during the 1950s and 60s, and continues to perform worldwide to this day.
She trained with Erwin Piscator at the New School for Social Research in New York, where the pioneering director established a “Dramatic Workshop,” during his exile from Nazi Germany in the mid-1940’s.
In 1947 she and painter Julian Beck founded The Living Theatre as an artistic and socially-conscious alternative to the commercial theater. Since then she has directed (and often acted in) more than sixty important productions which have hadconsiderable influence on the development of contemporary theater, including William Carlos Williams’ Many Loves, Jack Gelber’s The Connection, Kenneth H. Brown’s The Brig, Bertolt Brecht’s Antigone and the collective creations Mysteries and Smaller Pieces, Frankenstein, Paradise Now and The Legacy of Cain.
Judith Malina, along with The Living Theatre Company, has been arrested and imprisoned in various countries for the theatrical expression of the group’s anarchist-pacifist principle. Following the untimely death of Julian Beck in 1984 she has directed the company alongside Hanon Reznikov, whom she married in 1988. Malina is also the author of numerous published essays on theater and politics, diaries, poems and plays and occasionally appears as an actress in films (Dog Day Afternoon, China Girl, Awakenings, Enemies: a Love Story, The Addams Family, Household Saints and When in Rome) and television (Miami Vice, Tribeca, ER, The Sopranos). She has taught at Columbia University, New York University, the New School for Social Research and is a 1996 recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Whittier College. In 1999, she and Hanon Reznikov opened the Centro Living Europa, the European headquarters of The Living Theatre in the Palazzo Spinola of Rocchetta Ligure, Italy.
In 1975 Malina was given a lifetime achievement Obie award; in 1985 she was a recipient of a Guggenheim award; in 2003 she was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame; in 2008 she was awarded the Brazilian President’s Medal for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. She died on April 11, 2015 at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey.