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Lee Breuer, Adventurous Theater Director, Dies at 83

Lee Breuer, Adventurous Theater Director, Dies at 83
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Lee Breuer, Adventurous Theater Director, Dies at 83

Lee Breuer, Adventurous Theater Director, Dies at 83

Esser Leopold Breuer was born on Feb. 6, 1937, in Philadelphia, the one youngster of Joseph Breuer, an architect, and Sara Leopold Breuer, a onetime newspaper columnist.

“I all the time wished a brother or sister. I used to be all the time lonely,” Mr. Breuer recalled in an interview that seems in “Getting Off: Lee Breuer on Efficiency,” his 2019 e book with Stephen Nunns.

It didn’t assist that Mr. Breuer’s household moved incessantly, or that within the course of he skipped a number of grades, making him youthful than his classmates. At 16, he enrolled on the College of California, Los Angeles, the place he majored in English and commenced writing performs. Ms. Maleczech — whom he would marry in 1978 and stay married to till her dying in 2013, regardless of a decades-long separation and his having three kids with three different companions — was in certainly one of them.

A charismatic globe-trotter who was all the time hustling for the following venture, Mr. Breuer bristled on the considered having to be, as he as soon as put it, “an excellent, middle-class bourgeois fellow.” Bohemianism was extra to his style. When he and Ms. Maleczech returned to the US in 1970 after a number of years in Europe, a part of the lure was the benefit of getting welfare for six months whereas they made “The Purple Horse Animation.”

In New York, Mabou Mines at first had one foot firmly within the artwork world. However the Off Off Broadway scene was percolating wildly, and by 1974 the corporate was a part of A Bunch of Experimental Theaters of New York, Inc., a fledgling alliance whose membership reads like a roll name of downtown legends: Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Firm, Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Richard Schechner’s Efficiency Group, André Gregory’s Manhattan Challenge, Meredith Monk/The Home.

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The Occasions critic Mel Gussow quickly turned a champion, calling Mr. Breuer’s 1975 night of Beckett shorts for Mabou Mines “stunningly conceived and executed.”

In contrast to a lot of his friends, although, Mr. Breuer didn’t have a locked-in aesthetic. Mr. Schechner, who referred to as him one final time on Sunday morning and instructed him that his work had affected tens of millions — within the oblique, culture-nudging method that avant-garde theater can — mentioned in an interview that Mr. Breuer’s vary and curiosity made him stand out.

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