Ruth Maleczech (January 8, 1939 – Sep 30 2013) is an American avant-garde stage actress, whose most notable role may have been as King Lear, portrayed as an imperious Southern matriarch (1990). Maleczech met her artistic partner, Lee Breuer, at UCLA in the late 1950s, where she arrived via via Cleveland, Ohio (where she was born to Yugoslavian immigrants) and Phoenix, Arizona (where her steelworker father moved for his health).
Ruth my love- your were our utmost pioneer. Mabou Mines is up there with the Gods! And so are you.
God bless you.
Mabou Mines is a collaborative, avant-garde theater company based in New York City. Founded in 1970, the company took its name from an old mining town in northern Nova Scotia, near where founding members JoAnne Akalaitis, Lee Breuer, Philip Glass, Ruth Maleczech, and David Warrilow, developed The Red Horse Animation, the group’s first original performance piece. Since then Mabou Mines has produced scores of plays, collaborated with well-known writers, musicians, visual artists, and filmmakers, garnered heaps of critical praise and awards, and performed around the globe, cementing its reputation as an innovative force in the theater world.
Lee Breuer and Ruth Maleczech met studying theater at UCLA in the late 1950s. Around 1960, the couple hitchhiked to San Francisco to participate in the city’s active theater scene. Working at the San Francisco Actor’s Workshop and the San Francisco Mime Troupe they met Bill Raymond, and at the San Francisco Tape Music Center they met JoAnne Akalaitis. In 1964 Akalaitis moved to New York City but left for Paris soon after with composer (and future husband) Philip Glass. The following year Breuer and Maleczech left San Francisco for Europe. The two couples met again while traveling in Greece and returned to Paris. With actor David Warrilow, they began work staging Samuel Beckett’s Play, which premiered at the American Cultural Center in 1967. It was also in Paris that the group first met actor Frederick Neumann. In 1969, back in New York with Glass, Akalaitis wrote the others in Paris to suggest they form a theater group in New York.
Influenced especially by Jerzy Grotowski’s teaching and Beckett’s work, Mabou Mines went on to produce experimental theater pieces like Breuer’s Red Horse Animationpieces that resulted from intense collaboration and improvisation, and incorporated elements of visual art, dance, mime, puppetry, and music. Arc Welding Piece (1972), for example, featured an artist using an arc welder to make cuts in a large piece of metal, while actors expressed various states of emotion, their faces enlarged by magnifying lenses. In 1974, Fred Neumann joined the group to work on Breuer’s second “Animation,” The B. Beaver Animation. Bill Raymond joined shortly thereafter.
Philip just told me. I’m still in shock