n°3 – April 18, Theater

Politics of truth: the use of the voice in Living Theatre’s works

A conversation with Judith Malina and Thomas Walker (with a short note).

Judith Malina. Photo by Letizia Mariotti. Courtesy Thomas Walker / Living Theater


On January 2015 Judith Malina - the co-founder of Living Theatre with her partner Julian Beck - release one of her last interviews before she dies. In this unpublished interview, Malina is accompanied by Thomas Walker, member of the company since 1971. The matter of the conversation are vocality’s practices and aesthetics, for example the “vocal patterns” as The Chord and Sound and Movement. A recon about “vocal personalities” is also discussed, the latter representing a consistent part of the sonic background of Living Theatre (Antonin Artaud, Alessandro Moissi, Valeska Gert, Maurice Schwartz). Another subject matter consist in examining the use of the voice in the most famous shows of the American company. The conversation is followed by a short note where Living Theatre’s work is contextualized with broader issues, as the concept of method. At the end, the relation between each vocal pattern to another is identified as “disturbance’s voice”.

This article is available in: ITA


Mauro Petruzziello’s work focuses on the intersection of performing arts, sound and new languages. With a PhD in Music and Performing Arts at the DASS department of Università La Sapienza in Rome, he has been adjunct professor for the History of Theatre and Performing Arts course at the Università della Tuscia in Viterbo. In addition to a number of articles in academic journals, he has published «Perché di te farò un canto». Pratiche ed estetiche della vocalità nel teatro di Jerzy Grotowski, Living Theatre e Peter Brook (Bulzoni, 2018). He has worked alongside several theatre groups of the new Italian scene of the ’00s, curating Iperscene (Editoria & Spettacolo, 2007) and Aksè. Vocabolario per una comunità teatrale (L’arboreto edizioni, 2012). He is on the editorial board of “Sciami Ricerche”. He is a member of Gruppo Acusma, a collective of scholars and artists whose research is centered on sound dramaturgy in the theater and video fields. He has collaborated with various publications, including “La Repubblica XL”, “Rockstar”, “Alfabeta”, “EPolis”, “Artribune”.