Constituting the first comprehensive look at Ruth Maleczech's work, Jessica Brater's companion is a landmark study in innovative theatre practice, bringing together biography, critical analysis, and original interviews to establish a portrait of this Obie-award winning theatre artist.
Tracing Maleczech's background, training and influences, the volume contextualizes her work and the founding of Mabou Mines within the wider landscape of American avant-garde theatre. It considers her performances and productions, revealing both her interest in making ordinary women important onstage, and her predilection for resurrecting extraordinary women from history and finding their resonances within a contemporary theatrical context. Brater explores Maleczech's investment in redrawing the boundaries of what women are allowed to say, both on stage and off, and shows how her commitment to radical artistic and production risks has reshaped the contours of a contemporary theatrical experience.
Highlights of the volume include discussion of productions such as Mabou Mines' Lear, Dead End Kids, Hajj, Lucia's Chapters of Coming Forth by Day, Red Beads, and La Divina Caricatura, as well as a close look at Maleczech's final work-in-progress, Imagining the Imaginary Invalid.