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Lee Breuer is an Americanmarker academic, educator, film maker, poet, lyricist, writer and stage director.

Work with Mabou Mines

Lee Breuer is a founding artistic director of Mabou Mines Theater Company in New York Citymarker, which he began in 1970 with colleagues Philip Glass, Ruth Maleczech, JoAnne Akalaitis, David Warrilow, and Frederick Neuman.

Breuer's most recent work with Mabou Mines was the puppet opera, Red Beads, created in collaboration with puppeteer Basil Twist and composer Ushio Torikai. Of the September 2005 New York City premiere, the New York Times said: "… theater as sorcery; it is a crossroads where artistic traditions meet to invent a marvelous common language. It is a fairy tale, a puppet play and a chamber opera… amazing work."

His previous Mabou Mines production, Mabou Mines Dollhouse, a deconstruction of the Ibsen classic, won 2004 Obie Awards for Best Director and Best Performance. The production continues its international touring with upcoming featured engagements including Paris, Hong Kong, and tours in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Another production is being planned for production in Buenos Aires and touring in South America, and a high definition video production is being planned for international production and release.

Most of Breuer's previous work with Mabou Mines premiered at The Public Theatermarker (NYC) under the patronage of the late Joseph Papp, and at the La Mama Experimental Theater Club under the patronage of Ellen Stewart. These include his Obie-winning adaptation of three works by Samuel Beckett:Play, Come and Go and The Lost Ones.

He authored/directed Mabou Mines' trilogy,Animations, including The B Beaver, The Red Horse and The Shaggy Dog Animation, which was awarded the Obie for Beat Play in 1978. In 1980 Breuer received two Obies for writing and direction of his play, A Prelude to a Death in Venice. He also wrote and directed An Epidog, the winner of the President's Commission Kennedy Center-American Express Award for Best New Work.

The Gospel at Colonus

Breuer's best-known work is The Gospel at Colonus, a Pentecostal Gospel rendering of Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, created with composer Bob Telson and starring Morgan Freeman and Clarence Fountain. It premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Musicmarker's "Next Wave Festival". It was later performed on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater in 1988 for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. The production received numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination (1988), the Obie for Best Musical (1984), and an Emmy.

The Gospel at Colonus would go on to be performe worldwide (Paris, Spoleto, Edinburgh, Moscow, Barcelona, London, Avignon). It was recreated for the 70th Anniversary of New York's legendary Apollo Theater for two weeks in the fall of 2004 starring Charles S. Dutton and Jevetta Steele.

Additional productions

Previously Lee Breuer mounted The Tempest for Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park, starring Raul Julia.

His music-theater collaborations as author and director with Bob Telson include Sister Suzie Cinema, which premiered at The Public Theater and was televised on the PBS series, "Alive from Off Center".

Lee Breuer has directed eleven Obie Award winning productions over a period of thirty years including David Warrilow in The Lost Ones (1974); Bill Raymond in A Prelude to Death in Venice (1979); Ruth Maleczech in Hajj (1986); Yoshida Tamamatsu in The Warrior Ant (1990); Ruth Maleczech, Isabel Monk, Karen Kandel and Greg Mehrten in Mabou Mines Lear (1991); Karen Kandel in Peter and Wendy (1997); and Maude Mitchell in Mabou Mines Dollhouse (2004).

His involvement outside of the U.S., includes "Yi Sang Counts to Thirteen", which is now open-run in Korea(South)

Fellowships, awards, et al

Breuer has been:

He has won the Edinburgh Herald's Archangel Award and The Helen Hayes Award, in addition to numerous Obie.

He was a Japan-United States Friendship Commission exchange fellow and delivered the inaugural lectures for the Beckett Chair at Trinity College, Dublinmarker, supported by a grant from CIES.


Breuer has taught at the Yale University School of Drama (1986-99); Stanford University (1995-99); UC Santa Cruz (1994); Arizona State University West (1992-93) and Harvard University (Writers and Directors Seminar, 1981).


Breuer's books include:
  • La Divina Caricature (Green Integer Series, Sun and Moon Press)
  • Animations (Performing Arts Journal Publication)
  • Sister Suzie Cinema: The Collected Poems and Performances, 1976-1986
  • The Gospel at Colonus (both Theater Communications Group publications)
  • The Warrior Ant, illustrated by Swan Weil (Vincent Fitzgerald Press)

Personal life

A member of the Actor's Studio, Breuer has five children and tours worldwide. Between tours he lives with his partner, actress Maude Mitchell, in Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker.

External links

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