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 In this unpublished interview, Malina is accompanied by Thomas Walker, member of the company since 1971.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

Contract professor of History of Theater and Performing Arts at the DISUCOM University of Tuscia. Doctor of research at the DASS of the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of Salienza-University of Rome, he deals with the intersections between performing arts, sounds and new languages. He has joined the theatrical groups of the Italian scene of the Anni Zero curating the first volume of IIperscene (Publishing & Entertainment, 2007) and Aksè. Vocabolario per una comunità teatrale (L'Arboreto edizioni, 2012). He is part of the editorial board of "Sciami | ricerca" and is curator of some focus for the New Theater project Made in Italy. He is a member of the Acusma Group, a collective of scholars and artists whose research focuses on sound dramaturgy in theater and video. He has published essays on books and academic journals, collaborates with "Alfabeta2" and "Artibune". He recently published the volume at Bulzoni "Perché di te farò un canto". Pratiche ed estetiche della vocalità nel teatro di Jerzy Grotowski, Living Theatre e Peter Brook.