By Theodore Shank (auth.)
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Additional resources for American Alternative Theatre
During the Action part of this rung discussions are begun on the formation of revolutionary cells for radical action to continue work during and/or after the performance. 21 American Alternative Theatre 6. It begins with 'The Rite ofUniversal Intercourse' in which the performers lie on the stage floor in their semi-nude state entwined in a mass embrace - caressing and undulating . Spectators who join in are welcomed. Those who wish to temporarily pair off and sit face to face with sexualorgans in contact, but because of legal restrictions they do not make love.
In short the Living Theatre attempted to be co me a model of the anarchistic society. 'Our presence is our message,' said Beck, 'we are what we stand for. ,16 Their rehearsal methods became more collective. Malina and Beck still had the greatest impact on the productions, but rehearsals were now conducted without a director which, although less efficient, demonstrated that work could be accomplished without bosses. They were encouraged by the interest in their performances, especially since they had been warned that they would be greeted by apathy and rejection.
They lent support to various industrial organizing activities and in so far as possible they followed their principle of staying outside the money system, but it was necessary to raise money through lectures and workshops. They created, for performances to academic communities, Seven Meditations on Political Sado-Masochism (1973) which they considered a 'study piece' on the 'manifestation of the sado-masochist syndrome in various aspects of our lives'. 14 They received a grant from the Mellon Foundation to produce theatre in Pittsburgh, where they moved at the end of 1974 and began working with 28 Primary Explorations coal miners, steel mill workers, and their families.