Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Man's A Man = Man Is Man (1962-1963)

According to the Internet Off-Broadway Database, off-Broadway produced TWO different versions of Man Equals Man in the 1962-1963 season. It seems that both of them were quite successful, running from September to February/March, and an actor in each production received an Obie Award for Distinguished Performance.

A Man's A Man
New Repertory Theatre
Directed by John Hancock
John Hefferman as Galy Gay
Olympia Dukakis as Widow Begbick*
* = 1963 Obie Award for Distinguished Performance

Man Is Man
The Living Theatre
Directed by Julian Beck
Joseph Chaikin as Galy Gay*
Judith Malina as Widow Begbick
* = 1963 Obie Award for Distinguished Performance

Olympia Dukakis has had a long career as an actress on both stage and screen, winning the 1987 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Moonstruck.

The Living Theatre, founded by Julian Beck and Judith Malina (pictured below), is one of the most important counter-cultural theater troupes in American history. Their politics and their aesthetics were deeply influenced by both Brecht and Artaud. To learn more about their long and dramatic career (barricade the theater! arrests! exile!), I recommend the excellent documentary, Signals Through the Flames.

Joseph Chaikin (pictured below) was a brilliant director who founded The Open Theater, a highly influential experimental theater that drew inspiration from the "poor theater" of Grotowski.

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