Lee Breuer, Adventurous Theater Director, Dies at 83


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

“I all the time needed 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 regularly, or that within the course of he skipped just a few 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 started writing performs. Ms. Maleczech — whom he would marry in 1978 and stay married to till her demise in 2013, regardless of a decades-long separation and his having three youngsters with three different companions — was in certainly one of them.

A charismatic globe-trotter who was all the time hustling for the subsequent mission, Mr. Breuer bristled on the considered having to be, as he as soon as put it, “a superb, middle-class bourgeois fellow.” Bohemianism was extra to his style. When he and Ms. Maleczech returned to the USA 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 Pink 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 Undertaking, Meredith Monk/The Home.

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

In contrast to lots of his friends, although, Mr. Breuer didn’t have a locked-in aesthetic. Mr. Schechner, who known as him one final time on Sunday morning and informed him that his work had affected hundreds of thousands — within the oblique, culture-nudging means that avant-garde theater can — stated in an interview that Mr. Breuer’s vary and curiosity made him stand out.



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