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'Eureka!' Begins Previews Sept. 27 at the Living Theatre

The Living Theatre (21 Clinton St.) will begin its 2008-2009 season with the limited run of Judith Malina and Hanon Reznikov's EUREKA!, based on an Edgar Allen Poe essay about the origin of the Universe. Previews begin on Saturday, September 27, 2008 and will officially open on Wednesday, October 1. The production is directed by Judith Malina and features an original score by Patrick Grant.

Published in 1847, the "prose poem," as Poe called it, lays out with astonishing forethought what has since come to be called the "Big Bang" theory. The Living Theatre has adapted Poe's text to a theatrical form, which will provide the audience with an awareness of participating actively in the creation of the universe and realize the parallel between the development of the elements of the cosmos and our own human development.

EUREKA! was conceived and written by Hanon Reznikov when he read Poe's text - but he did not live to finish the task. Judith Malina, his collaborator and the director of the play completed the script.

The purpose of the play is to provide the audience with a sense of empowerment. By participating in the creation of the known universe we communicate the possibility of creating a more harmonious social structure. EUREKA! joins nearly one hundred Living Theatre productions created since 1951, all of which seek to expand our knowledge of the universe.

Hanon Reznikov who died on May 4, 2008, first met The Living Theatre at their performances at Yale in 1968. He soon joined the company and became director after the death of Judith Malina's husband, Julian Beck in 1985. Judith Malina and Mr. Reznikov were married in 1988. He has written many of the company's plays including The Money Tower, The Yellow Methuselah, The Body of God, Anarchia, Utopia, Capital Changes and Resistenza. Living/Reznikov: Four Plays of The Living Theatre is in print.

Judith Malina was born in 1926 in Kiel, Germany. In 1947, after studying acting and directing at the Dramatic Workshop at the New School with Erwin Piscator, she and Julian Beck founded The Living Theatre as an artistic challenge to the commercial theater, producing nearly 100 productions including The Connection, The Brig, Frankenstein, Antigone, Paradise Now, Seven Meditations on Political Sado-Masochism, I and I and Resistenza. Her literary output incudes the plays Paradise Now, Mysteries and smaller pieces and The Legacy of Cain, collections of her diaries including The Diaries of Judith Malina 1947-1957, and The Enormous Despair as well as two collections of poetry, Poems of a Wandering Jewess and Love and Politics. She has also appeared often in films and television, including Dog Day Afternoon, China Girl, The Addams Family, Household Saints, Enemies: A Love Story, The Deli, Nothing Ever Happens and guest appearances on ER, Miami Vice, The Street and The Sopranos.

The cast of EUREKA! features Anthony Sisco, Silas Inches, Gene Ardor, Yasemin Ozumerzifon, Eric Olson, Maia Larraz, Erin Downhour, Natalia De Campo, Kennedy Yanko, Enoch Wu, Katherine Nook, Isaac Scranton and Eitan Brigantonelli.

The Assistant Director is Brad Burgess. Set & Lighting Designer is Gary Brackett, Technical Direction is by Evan True. Choreography is by Gene Ardor and music is by Patrick Grant.

Performances are on Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 4 p.m.

Tickets will be $20 with a discounted ticket of $15 for students, seniors and military. The production involves audience interaction, so there are no seats and each performance can only accommodate 50 people. For further information, visit www.livingtheatre.org.


ABOUT THE LIVING THEATRE

Living Theatre is an American theatre company founded in 1947 and based in New York City. It is the oldest experimental theatre group still existing in the U.S. For most of its history it was led by its founders, actor Judith Malina and painter /poet Julian Beck; after Beck's death in 1985. Judith Malina is Artistic Director.

Future plans include producing new works by Tony Kushner and Anne Waldman.

In the 1950s, Living Theatre was among the first in the U.S. to produce the work of influential European playwrights such as Bertolt Brecht and Jean Cocteau, as well as modernist poets such as T.S. Eliot and Gertrude Stein. Based in a variety of small New York locations that were frequently closed due to financial problems or conflicts with city authorities, they helped to originate Off-Broadway as a significant force in U.S. theatre. Their work during this period shared some aspects of style and content with beat generation writers. Also during the 1950s, the American composer Alan Hovhaness and John Cage worked closely with the Living Theatre, composing music for its productions. In 1959, their play The Connection attracted national attention for its harsh portrayal of drug addiction and its equally harsh language.


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