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Lee Breuer Experimental Theater Series


Lee Breuer, a major figure of American experimental theater and co-founder of Mabou Mines Theater Company, is collaborating with Eric Marciano of American Montage, Inc. to produce a seven part video program, The Lee Breuer Experimental Theater Series.  Breuer and Marciano share the vision that this video series will be recognized as the definitive statement on Breuer’s body of work, and will be essential to the library and curriculum of any serious student, teacher or patron of avant-garde theater and theater in general.  Production began in December 2012 and will continue through 2014.The Lee Breuer Experimental Theater Series will be comprised of seven 1-hour episodes, each based on one of Breuer’s seminal experimental theater works.  Breuer’s body of work will be examined through interviews with his key collaborators, and in discussions with the man himself on his process, his techniques, and the prevalent themes that have provided the foundation of his almost 50-year career.Lee Breuer is a founding artistic director of Mabou Mines Theater Company in New York City, which he began in 1970 with colleagues Philip Glass, Ruth Maleczech, JoAnne Akalaitis, David Warrilow, and Frederick Neuman.  His strong belief in experimental theater’s ability to illuminate our world by pushing dramatic convention beyond the mere depiction of reality can be found in Mabou Mines’ mission statement:  Mabou Mines is an artist-driven experimental theater collective generating original works and re-imagined adaptations of classic plays through multi-disciplinary, technologically inventive collaborations among its members and a wide world of contemporary composers, writers, musicians, puppeteers and visual artists.The result of Breuer’s style as an adaptor/director is often described as stylistic “mash-ups.”  To Breuer, the stage is like a supercollider in which different genres and cultures are slammed together and fused into something wholly new.  While this technique has at times been off-putting to both purists and critics, Breuer’s adaptations of classic touchstones of Western theater more often than not have bathed the truths found in those works in a brand new light.  Ideas that have become obscured by repetition and familiarity take on new life when filtered through unexpected and sometimes jarringly disparate cultural values."It is experimental theatre that moves the art forward and pushes audiences to think outside the standards."Julie-Kate Cooper - CVNC An Online Arts JournalAwards and FellowshipsSpace constraints do not permit a full listing of awards garnered by Breuer, with and without his Mabou Mines collaborators.  The honors he received for Gospel at Colonus alone are extraordinary, and include the National Institute for Music Theater Award 'Outstanding Achievement’, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Concept, the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award for Best Direction and Text, the National Black Programming Award for Best Production Communicating Excellence to Black Audiences, and the National Institute of Music Theater's Award for the Advancement of Music Theater, and more.   He was even recognized with a National ASCAP Popular Song Award. In all, Breuer has directed eleven Obie Award winning productions over a period of thirty years.  He is also the recipient of the Chevalier Des Artes et Lettres, presented by the French Ministry of Culture.   His Fellowships include the Fulbright Fellowship – Greece (2003), Asian Cultural Council - Thailand, Study (2001), Asian Cultural Council - Seoul, Korea, Workshop (2000), John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1997-2001), Asian Cultural Council - China, Teaching at Dramatic Institute in Beijing (1995), and the Japan-United States Friendship Commission - Japan, Research and Tour Planning (1993).