Judith Malina emigrated to the U.S.A from Germany at the age of two. She trained as an actress and theatre director under Erwin Piscator at the New School's Dramatic Workshop, alongside luminaries including Marlon Brando, Elaine Stritch and Harry Belafonte. Malina was the co-founder and artistic director of the world-renowned LIVING THEATRE, the longest producing theatre company in New York and the United States. Her work and that of The Living Theatre has, since its inception in the 1950’s, continually challenged the forms, content and style of the theatre and its relationship to and with the audience.
Born in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan in New York City, Julian was the son of Irving, a businessman, and Mabel Lucille (Blum) Beck. Educated at the College of the City of New York, he briefly attended Yale University, but then abandoned it to pursue writing and art. An abstract expressionist painter in the 1940s, his life's destiny was forever changed after meeting his future wife, actress/writer/director Judith Malina, in 1943. His passions swiftly centered around the likes of hers -- the theatre -- and together they co-founded The Living Theatre in 1947, which would base itself in New York City. Their subsequent contributions propelled the off-off-Broadway movement and the vision of performance art. Julian would continue to work with the Living Theater up until his death nearly forty years later.
Born in Brooklyn in 1950, Hanon studied biophysics at Yale University before going into theatre. He joined the Living Theatre in 1977 and became its co-director after Beck’s death in 1985, writing and directing many productions including Utopia, a “celebration of … the wished-for world;” Capital Changes, a critique of six centuries of capitalism; and the antiwar theater piece, Resistance. Hanon had helped the Living Theater remain a vital force in experimental and political theater locally, and worldwide, since its founding in 1947. He had been with the company for half of its 60 years until his passing in 2008.