MARK HALL AMITIN brings his expertise of 45 years of work in the experimental and international theatre as teacher, director, actor, writer, producer and manager. The programs provide a historical look at the experiments of many artists and companies in the U.S. and abroad, and a dialogue for the next generation of theatre artists. The workshops explore physical training, styles, forms and philosophies, derived from the work of Chaikin, Beck, Malina, Schechner, Ludlam, amongst many other directors, and Amitin’s own experiments. A longer residency can lead to the creation of a workshop presentation. The lecture/discussions examine the hagiography of over thirty years of experimentation accompanied by video, showing the work of numerous companies and artists Amitin has worked with. The video clips are from performances of such groups as The Living Theatre, Bread and Puppet Theater, Open Theatre, Manhattan Project, and Squat Theatre, to name a few.
The workshops are structured to meet the needs of the students and faculty of each individual institution, undergraduate and graduate levels, running about three hours each. The lecture, with video and discussion, is approximately two hours. Additional programs can be presented on international theatre, directing, auditioning, and producing/management. It is also possible to mount a small exhibition for display during longer residency programs, and to screen videos of full–length productions.
Since 1971 Amitin’s lectures, workshops and residencies have been presented at over 200 colleges, universities, festivals and conferences world-wide including: Moscow Art Theatre School, Beijing and Shanghai Drama Academies, Hong Kong Arts Centre, the Universities of Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris, Parma, Schiller College/Berlin, American Embassy and Consulate in Israel, Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities, Palestinian National Theatre, American College Theatre Festival/Kennedy Center, ATA and ATHE conventions and for the National Theare Conference. The Universities of California, Delaware, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin. Yale, Columbia, Carnegie-Mellon, Smith, Swarthmore, Oberlin, Washington, Wesleyan, Wellesley, Drake, Notre Dame, Brigham Young, Villanova, Hampshire, Brown, Cal Arts, the Asia Society, and dozens of others.
His writings have been published in Performing Arts Journal, Travail Theatral, Win Magazine, The Village Voice, Hamptons Magazine, Black Book, US-China Review, Avenue Be, Our Town, Manhattan Spirit, The Westsider and The Chelsea-Clinton News. He has contributed chapters to the books: Famous Women in the American Theatre (Greenwood), and Conversations on Theatre and Performance (Johns Hopkins). His work is mentioned in: The History of the Theatre, 2nd Ed. (Oscar Brockett), The Radical Theatre Notebook (Arthur Sainer), Living Theatre, USA (Renfru Neff), Theatre in Amerika (Karen Malpede), Squat Theatre (Anna Koos and Eva Buckmuller),The Living Theatre (John Teitel), and Albee in Performance, (Rakesh Solomon).
In October 2003 New York University hosted a conference examining Amitin’s career, his organizations Universal Movement Theatre Repertory, World of Culture and the theatre companies and artists he has produced. The four symposiums included panels of academics, critics, journal editors, actors, directors and producers culminating with the opening of an exhibition curated by Amitin of over 200 items from his archives, now housed in New York University’s Bobst Library.
As a director Amitin has created works for the Copenhagen International Theatre Festival, Universite Paris, (where he taught and earned a Diploma of Profound Studies and his Doctorat), and in Gaza with Ashterot for Culture and Art. He has been included in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. Amitin’s archives are housed in the University of California, Davis, Shields Library and New York University, Bobst Library. Amitin has appeared in a number of films and theatre productions and on television, including Chantal Ackerman’s L’Histoire D’Amerique, Peter Lillienthal’s Wasserman, Alexandre Rockwell’s In The Soup, Steve Buscemi’s Animal Factory, The Equalizer, and Squat Theatre’s Andy Warhol’s Last Love.
As producer he created and coordinated numerous theatre festivals, toured dozens of theatre companies and performing artists world-wide including Edward Albee, Spalding Gray, Mabou Mines, Living Theatre, Open Theatre, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Pilobolus, and dozens of others at major theatres in NY, including Lincoln Center, the Joyce, Vineyard, La MaMa, the Taper Forum, Guthrie, ACT, Goodman, ART, Kennedy Center, & Walker Arts Center, He negotiated contracts for actors in films of Coppola, Scorcese, Woody Allen, Mazursky, Bertolucci, Jarmusch, trained and represented such actors as Steve Buscemi, Peter Facinelli, Wilson Heredia (Tony Award, Rent), He has also taught over 40 classes on auditioning at major institutions and privately.
In September 2005 Amitin served as jury president for the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre and delivered the keynote lecture. In the fall of 2007 he directed his own environmental adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt as the production for the graduating class at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Fall of 2011 he presented two days of master classes at the National Theatre Institute/Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center.
(Photos from Shanghai Theatre Academy and University of Montevallo, AL.)