Writer and Director: Judith Malina
Assistant Director: Nathan Shreeve
The Living Theatre Ensemble:
Leah Bachar, Sarah Braenne, Soraya Broukhim, Brad Burgess, Jay Dobkin, Eno Edet, Leonie Ettinger, John Paul Harkins, Thaddeus Harvey, Jen Emma Hertel, Dennis Yueh Yeh Li, K'Sandra Nova, Mary Round, Tom Walker, Fabian Zarta
Music Composition: David Personne
Set Design: Nicholas Benacerraf
Light Design: Simon Harding
Associate Artistic Directors: Tom Walker and Brad Burgess
Artistic Associates: Eric Olson, Albert Lamont, Soraya Broukhim
Executive Producer: Brad Burgess
Associate Producer: Perf Productions
Opens Jan. 10th, runs through Feb 23rd, weds-sat 8p. Weds Pay What You Can, Thurs-Sat. $20 tix, $15 student/senior.
About the Company: The Living Theatre
The Living Theatre (19 Clinton St.), the oldest experimental theatre group still exisiting in the country, will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of THE CONNECTION by playwright Jack Gelber with a new production directed by Judith Malina. The Living Theatre will present the 50th anniversary revival of THE CONNECTION in collaboration with New York City jazz musician Rene McLean, who will conduct a New York jazz ensemble. The Production will begin performances on December 30, 2008 and will continue until Feburary 13, 2009. Judith Malina directs.
The groundbreaking production of The Connection (1959) attracted national attention for its shocking portrayal of drug addiction and its equally unexpected language. It was an enormous success for its improvisational style of acting and its exciting use of live jazz musicians including Jackie McLean, Freddie Redd (who composed the original score), Cecil Payne, Kenny Drew, Tina Brooks and Cecil Taylor. Martin Sheen, a Living Theatre supporter and board member, launched his career with his work in the play. The show won several Obies and ran for more than 700 performances. Its raw immediacy and demolition of the normal boundaries between audience and cast influenced generations of theatre productions and it is our desire to reintroduce this seminal work to a new generation of actors and jazz musicians and of course our audience.
1931-is the story of Adam, who is fired from his warehouse job. Proud and determined, Adam sets out to find another job, only to discover hundreds of other men in the same situation. Without a paycheck, Adam soon realizes how much he has to lose: health, dignity, hope, and possibly even the young shop girl he loves. 1931- it is the story of all the men and women, young and old in Adam's situation. They sleep in the parks, beg for coins and even turn to crime when there seems to be no other option. When their story comes to a head, there seems only one way left to turn: revolution.
1931-was the second play produced by The Group Theatre, 'the most famous American theatre company, which existed from 1931-1940, featuring the talents of Lee Strasberg, Clifford Odets, Stella Adler, & Sanford Meisner. The original production lasted 12 performances, though the stories of the amazed reaction of the “balcony crowd,” whose story was being depicted onstage, are legendary. The upper-class orchestra-set rejected the play for its alleged sensationalism.
The ReGroup Theatre Company presented 1931- as a staged reading in 2010 and was struck by the overwhelming response the play stirred in the audience. Many questioned whether the play had been updated to reflect our modern times, specifically the Occupy Wall Street movement, but not a word has been updated.
Out-of-print for 75+ years, ReGroup Artistic Director Allie Mulholland copied 1931- word by word from the Labor Library Collection. After obtaining permission from the Sifton family, The ReGroup published the play in 2011 in The “Lost” Group Theatre Plays: Volume 1.