Photo: Courtesy the Family Archives of George Edgerly and Ann Marie Harris, Hibiscus and the Angels of Light

The Living Theatre

Bob Dylan


In the early 1960s, Bob Dylan could be seen performing at downtown locations such as the Gaslight coffeehouse and The Living Theatre before becoming a Sixties icon. [more]

Ed Sanders


Ed Sanders was a mimeo publisher, frontman of the Fugs, and potty-mouthed poet who opened the influential Peace Eye Bookstore on the Lower East Side, cofounded the Yippies, and was also involved in the underground film scene. [more]

Jack Gelber


Shirley Clarke’s 1961 film The Connection was adapted from Jack Gelber’s play, which had been a hit for the Living Theatre in 1959, and Gelber collaborated with Clarke on the screenplay, which incorporated the presence of documentary filmmakers into the plot. [more]

John Cage


Experimental composer and theorist John Cage shared a studio at the Living Theatre with dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, with whom he collaborated for performances at Judson Memorial Church and elsewhere. [more]

Judith Malina


Judith Malina was the cofounder of the Living Theatre, along with her husband Julian Beck, and they played key roles in the development of Off-Broadway during the 1950s and Off-Off-Broadway in the 1960s. [more]

Larry Kornfeld


Off-Off-Broadway director Larry Kornfeld honed his skills at the Living Theatre before directing dozens of shows at the Judson Poets’ Theatre throughout the 1960s before cofounding Theater for a New City. [more]

Merce Cunningham


Choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham and his partner John Cage were closely involved in the overlapping downtown arts scenes, collaborating with their friend Robert Rauschenberg and others at Judson Memorial Church and the Living Theatre. [more]

Peter Crowley


Peter Crowley worked at the Living Theatre well over a decade before he began booking the Ramones, Blondie, and other punk bands at Max’s Kansas City; in both venues, he witnessed the dissolution of barriers that separated audiences from performers. [more]

Shirley Clarke


Shirley Clarke began as a dancer before becoming a headstrong filmmaker who directed The Connection and The Cool World; by the late 1960s she had largely abandoned the film world to become a video pioneer, forming the Tee Pee Video Space Troupe with her daughter Wendy Clarke. [more]