Nobody Does It Like This Anymore: The Theater of Lee Breuer

From 2012 to 2020 Eric Marciano documented and collaborated with Lee Breuer, a major figure of American experimental theater and co-founder of Mabou Mines Theater Company, on a wide variety of projects. Much of that work is coming together in a documentary designed to explore Lee and his collbaorator's creative process. "Nobody Does It Like This Anymore: The Theater of Lee Breuer".  Breuer and his partner Maude Mitchell Marciano share the vision that this documentary would be recognized as a comprehensive telling of his process and his later works. A film that would be appreciated by  any serious student, teacher or patron of avant-garde theater and theater in general...                     On January 3rd, 2021 "shuffled off this mortal coil" and left us. This makes "Nobody Does It Like This Anymore: The Theater of Lee Breuer" ever important and a testament and legacy to the remarkable body of work created over a lifetime of following his unique creative instincts and influence to create theater and art that is both breathtaking and life giving...       In "Nobody Does It Like This Anymore: The Theater of Lee Breuer".  Breuer’s body of work is examined through interviews with his key collaborators. Filmed interviews to date include Greg Merhten, Bill Raymond, Bob Telson, Sam Butler Jr., Eamonn Farrell, Jessica Weinstein, Jay Ansil, Thomas Keith, Annette Saddik and Alex " Tiappa" Klimovtsky as well as discussions with Lee and his long time production designer Alison Yexa and his partner Maude Mithchell on his process, his techniques, and the prevalent themes that have provided the foundation of his almost 60-year career...      Lee Breuer was 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 innovative 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...From 2014 through 2018 Eric Marciano produced, edited and filmed the expressionist feature length documentary, "The Book of Clarence" with Lee Breuer, Sam Butler Jr., and Adam Larsen. This powerful and inspirational film tells the story of the life of Clarence Fountain, one of the original members and front man for the iconic gospel group "The Blind Boys of Alabama" who were featured in Lee's seminal work "The Gospel at Colonus". The Book of Clarence weaves Clarence's life with excerpts from "Gospel at Colonus" creating a singular story of a man and his character in a show. The film premiered at 2017 Museum of Modern Art's Documentary Fortnight and has been presented at the Louisiana, Minneapolis and Richmond International Film Festivals as well as the Brooklyn Academy of Music....    ...."It is experimental theatre that moves the art forward and pushes audiences to think outside the standards."Julie-Kate Cooper - CVNC An Online Arts Journal...                                                                                                    Awards 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).