The Diaries of Judith Malina, 1958–1971 collects the diaries of Judith Malina—artist, activist, and lifelong diarist—from a seismic period of her life and a formative era for her company with The Living Theatre. This book is part of scholar Kate Bredeson’s larger project to gather, edit, and introduce Malina’s unpublished diaries.
This volume covers 13 years as Malina records her days, beginning in New York and ending in Ouro Preto, Brazil. During this decade-plus, Malina experienced profound transformation as she co-led The Living Theatre while it opened its first theatre space in New York, saw her theatre seized by the IRS, lived and toured in Europe, travelled to Morocco to discuss a split of the company, and relocated to Brazil to launch a new phase of personal and professional work. Malina’s scrupulous diaries record The Living’s extraordinary activities, illustrate the thinking of a key figure in late-twentieth-century theatre, and paint a dazzling portrait of the times in which she lived.
Bredeson includes a significant critical introduction that situates Malina’s legacy in theatre history, discusses the influence of her theatre, examines the genre of diary-keeping, and spotlights Malina’s work as an artist, activist, and diarist.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Tom Walker; Introduction by Kate Bredeson; Works Cited; Chronology of Judith Malina and The Living Theatre, 1958–1971; 1958: New York City–New York City; 1959: New York City–New York City; 1960: New York City–New York City; 1961: New York City–New York City; 1962: New York City–New York City; 1963: New York City–Unspecified Location (East Coast); 1964: New York City–New York City; 1965: Passaic County Jail–Elsinore; 1966: Aarhus–Amsterdam; 1967: Amsterdam–Paris; 1968: Rome–Paris; 1969: Cherbourg–Berlin; 1970: Berlin–São Paulo
Kate Bredeson is a theatre historian, director, and dramaturg. The author of Occupying the Stage: The Theater of May ’68 (2018), she is Associate Professor of Theatre at Reed College.
"This long-awaited, fascinating volume, The Diaries of Judith Malina,1958–1971, goes far in filling the gap in our understanding of and appreciation for the unique voice, experiences, achievements and perspectives of Judith Malina, the passionate artist–activist and cofounder of The Living Theatre, a groundbreaking ensemble that landed at the center of the zeitgeist during the decade these diaries span. In Malina’s intimate, sharply etched and riveting chronicles, astutely and sensitively edited by Kate Bredeson, we can ’feel alongside her in the moment‘ as Bredeson writes in her illuminating, strongly argued introduction, tracking an extraordinary life of/in the theatre that can teach us volumes about a revolutionary time not so different from our own."
—Cindy Rosenthal, Professor of Drama and Dance, Hofstra University
"This thrilling new installment in the publication of Judith Malina’s diaries brings readers into a tumultuous, largely nomadic, highly creative, and often contentious period of The Living Theatre. While the company constantly grapples with cops, creditors, critics, and the conflicts of communal living, this visionary artist also invents new forms, develops theories of political theater, exalts and agonizes over love affairs, and gives birth and tends to a daughter. Her sparkling, pithy descriptions of places (‘gray roofs glowing in Paris‘; ’the busy vegetation of Cefalù‘) and people (Genet, Grotowski, Dorothy Day ... ) bring every encounter to vivid life, and her honest questioning of all assumptions – except her commitment to pacifism, whether audience members lift her up in triumph or spit in her face – never cease to inspire. I can’t wait for the next volume."
—Professor Alisa Solomon, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
"Judith Malina was an extraordinary artist, whose prolific diaries reveal her struggle between a love of the world and a desire to revolutionize it. At this moment in history, her soulfulness and fierce honesty, joined to radical politics and ideals, appear as a timely gift to a world theatre community searching for inspirational figures. In its use of archival material and reflections on the diary as a literary form, Kate Bredeson’s Introduction opens up new perspectives on this great woman of the American theatre who embraced livingness in all its splendor and turmoil in pursuit of her vision."
—Bonnie Marranca, editor, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and author of Timelines: Writings and Conversations, Performance Histories, and Ecologies of Theatre