American Alternative Theatre by Theodore Shank (auth.)

By Theodore Shank (auth.)

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Terminal Each segment of the play is announced by one or more actors. 2J The performance begins with 'The Calling up of the Dead'. The performers call upon the dead to speak through them, the dying. ' The actors change from street clothes to white costumes. They are alive, but they are dying . ' The actor tries to see . to the utmost, but his vision fails. The attendant gives hirn pieces of black tape with which the blind man seals off his eyes. The actor makes sounds but his voice fades and he can no longer speak.

It can be said that Malina and Beck explored more of these modes than any other 36 Primary Explorations company, although they were not the pioneers in each of these. In many of their productions there were elements from Happenings. Some of their work can be considered Political Theatre in that it was concerned with social and economic problems. Many of their later productions were Street Theatre, being performed out-of-doors, going to the audience rather than the audience coming to them. G. Davis of the San Francisco Mime Troupe) in that they arrived at a site unexpectedly, performed illegally, and could get away quickly.

In Brazil they made a tactical error and they paid for it by spending two months in prison before they were deported. Back in the United States the company continued to develop the Legacy o[ Cain cycle and to devote their energies to industrial workers. They lent support to various industrial organizing activities and in so far as possible they followed their principle of staying outside the money system, but it was necessary to raise money through lectures and workshops. They created, for performances to academic communities, Seven Meditations on Political Sado-Masochism (1973) which they considered a 'study piece' on the 'manifestation of the sado-masochist syndrome in various aspects of our lives'.

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