The Sanctuary for Universal Dissidents

(In memory to Julian Beck 1925 - 1985 †)

Julian Beck was a dreamer, a poet and a universal dissident. He had taken the art of the theatre to its maximum expression: to life, to the life of the streets, to where the theatre occurs, to where the theatre of life is happening, to where the Living Theatre belong. For Julian, theatre was the extension of his life.

In his romantic imaginary as painter he was painting revolutionary metaphors with action performances in the streets. With the Six Public Acts -performed in the open, in France, Germany, Italy-, the Living Theatre were acting lyrical revolutions one after another. They reflected the discontent of the times and the human need for liberation.

Six Public Acts (a part of a bigger project that started in Brazil) was actually the historical culmination of the Living Theatre. Julian succeeds to realize his dreams with this great accomplishment. In the middle of his dream-project a deathly disease and an imminent death catch him by surprise.

After Julian Beck´s death in 1985 the Living Theatre was not the same. Julian Beck was the real spirit and public image of the Living Theatre. The project Living Theatre fade away with Julian Beck, even if Judith Malina, with other members of the troupe, had tried to keep the Living afloat (presenting retrospectives of old plays as The Brig, etc., keeping the Living in the past) or some new plays (suggested and produced by the new members under the brand of the Living Theatre) and directed by Judith.

The Living Theatre, reach it´s apogee in the 60´s with Paradise Now, a shockwave effect that lasted until the end of the 70´s. The new members today (young people who were looking for a quick fix recognition), are trying to institutionalize the Living with the sense of, not only keeping the working area, but, also, to be part in history. And now, fter the death of Judith they are trying to establish a dynasty to perpetuate persistently something Julian Beck will oppose if alive. He was an anarchist.

The openness to the so called "collective creation" was a great input for the company. The creative potential of each new individual member and the diversity of information emerging in the debates made the dynamic of the group very prolific on ideas. Julian and Judith, as directors, were pulling the new ideas -or the most innovative or breakthrough ideas- from the discussion and they documented and compressed before put it into action. All these wonderful ideas emanated from the talented members were processed by the directors. This attitude made the collective performances an inevitable success, but in the end of the day all the credits go to Judith and Julian (books) .
The glory and success of the Living Theatre were triggered by the ideas of enthusiastic members, the passion of the directors to interpret those ideas in accordance to the Artaudian thesis and, the socio-cultural environment of the 60´s.

The Living Theatre in the 60`s was the consolidation of a communal life and communal creation. The collective experience with "Paradise Now" -the emblematic work of the Living-, and also "Antigone", "Mysteries"; "Frankenstein", etc., was the opening-up of the company to new talented members (non-strictly actors) who were greatly contributing to the success of the company and to the remix of the creative process for the final universal intercourse with the public.

The obsession of Judith to proselytize the group with "the beautiful peaceful nonviolent anarchist revolution" contradicts greatly the human reality of the community. Most of the members in the 60´s and 70´s (including myself) didn´t share this idea, because was unrealistic. A revolution must not necessary be beautiful, non-violent or anarchist. This is a fantasy.

The harmonious correlation of talented members and the affinity of the wavelengths, plus the great momentum in the 60`s made things possible. The Living Theatre Collective (I mean, the Living as a group and not principally of his directors), were part of the counter-cultural, anti-establishment movement of the time.

Vicente Segura


"Six Public Acts" in La Chaux de Fonds, France 1977

Click the photo to play the video: 1:01:48

"In 1968 The Living Theatre, an anarcho-communalist troupe led by Julian Beck and Judith Malina, returned to America from years of self-imposed exile in Europe with what would become their best-known production: “Paradise Now,” a play that sought to completely dissolve the boundaries of human interactions through a practice of live collective creation, forging a revolutionary harmony between actors and audience (...)
What happened each night onstage—and offstage, and then out into the streets—was a series of purposefully provocative and interventionist actions, from marijuana smoking and full-body group nudity to screamed declamations, intense arguments and (yes) orgies, often involving audience members."

Text extracted from ARTHUR MAGAZINE


Paradise Now - 1968
Photo: Gianfranco Mantegna

VIDEO: Click to play - 5:22


Legendary Members of the Living in the 60´s and 70´s

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An Improvisation on Paradise Now
Steve Ben Israel, Henry & Nona Howard,
Jim Tiroff, Mary Krapf. 1969

Photo by Max Waldman


Birgit Knabe (Gypsy) and Nona Howard (Luna)
Photo by Robert Altman

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Mary Mary Krapf

More photos of ex-members will be displayed here.
Work in Progress...

The Troupe in Brazil:
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Singing in a multi-tune unison the mantra "Om" for peace.
(The chord from "Mysteries and Smaller Pieces")

The Troupe in USA:
vicente segura

Work in Progress...


The experience in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais Wikipedia (in Portugès)

Click to Read

Interview hold by Julian Beck and Judith Malina
in ARTS - 1970

Interview hold by Julian Beck and Judith Malina in ARTS Magazine
Rio de Janeiro - 1970

O Pasquim, Rio de Janeiro - 1970 (Click to read)

Interview to Julian Beck and Judith Malina in "O Pasquim"
Rio de Janeiro - 1970

The Living in Ouro Preto - Minas Gerais, Brazil - 1971 (Click to read)

Reportage about the Living in Ouro Preto - Minas Gerais, Brazil

vicente segura

An interview to the Living in one of the daily
brain storming meetings - Ouro Preto House

The Living in Belo Horizonte, after the arrest in Ouro Preto - Brazil - 1970

The Living in Belo Horizonte, after the arrest in Ouro Preto.

The Busted Angels in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais - 1971

The Living Theatre get busted in Brazil
-Facing trial and expulsion-


The decree of expulsion by president Emiliano Garrastazu Medici

"La Prensa" Lima-Peru 1971


Vicente Segura in Ouro Preto
While the guitar of Echnaton gentle plays.

Some passages from the book of John Tytell: "The Living Theatre, art, exile and outrage".


Excerpts from the book of John Tytell about the Living and the escandal in Brazil.


Read details of the arrest of the Living in Brazil (in portugues)

The arrest of the Living Theatre "Der Spiegel":(in German)




My Rock Star Tour to Jail

By Vicente Segura


Work in progress...Coming soon.


Al Pacino

on the Living Theatre

Roberto de Niro

on the Living Theatre


More ex-members are coming soon.


Steve Ben Israel †
Ex-leading member of the Living Theatre
in the 60´s & 70´s.

Passed away on 4 June 2012 at 74.

Read his poetry here:


The Last Dance of Ira Cohen

R.I.P. 1935-2011

(Ira Cohen was the film producer of Paradise Now from the Living)

I meet Ira Cohen in Kathmandu (Nepal) 1976, when he was publishing his art-books of poems in Bardo Matrix, reading his poetry in the Yin-Yang restaurant in Durbar Square and exposing his beautiful photography in the October Gallery of the Vajra hotel.

Photo by Ira Cohen


Vicente Segura in Makhan Tole, Kathmandu, 1977.


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