Judith Malina won acclaim as an actress, a director and a producer through the experimental Living Theatre she cofounded with her husband, Julian Beck, in 1948. Malina was praised for her avant-garde, political approach to directing plays like Gertrude Stein’s Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights, and William Carlos Williams’s Many Loves, as well as the Living Theatre’s collective creations, Frankenstein and Paradise Now. The Living Theatre toured the US and France, eventually producing 75 plays, and briefly performed street theater in Brazil before the company was jailed and expelled as incendiary. While she used theater to move audiences to political awareness and action, Malina also advocated for causes directly through the antiwar movement, Women Strike for Peace, the Industrial Workers of the World, and other organizations. Malina also performed as an actress in Enemies: A Love Story and Dog Day Afternoon, wrote poetry, and taught at both NYU and Columbia University. She received many honors for her work, including an Obie award, the Grand Prix du Théâtre des Nations, the Paris Critics Circle medallion, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2004. Malina died on April 10, 2015 in Englewood, New Jersey.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Judith Malina." (Viewed on February 27, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/malina-judith>.