By Theodore Shank (auth.)
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Extra info for American Alternative Theatre
23 American Alternative Theatre 8. Paradise Now, photo: Gianfranco Mantegna For the Living Theatre life, revolution and theatre had become one. The Action portion of each section of Paradise Now consisted in part of unrehearsed actual behaviour of performers and spectators without a fictional illusion. The company generally avoided going beyond legal restrictions during a performance as they had no wish to spend time in prison. It was not unusual, however, for spectators to smoke marijuana, burn money, or take off all of their cJothes.
Feel free. ' The first section was intended to open people to new values and to discard the old va lues represented by specific prohibitions of the cuIture. Section Two, The Revolution of Revelation', was intended to describe the aims of the anarchist revolution. It begins with actors gently touching spectators and speaking softly to them. During the Vision part of this section the actors form with their bodies the words ANARCHISM and PARADISE. Rung Three is 'The Revolution of Gathered Forces'.
The action is performed twenty times. After a time the victim begins to speak gentle words to the executioner who answers with the prohibitions stated at the beginning of the play. Finally they embrace and the scene ends. In the Action portion of Rung Four the spectators are led back into 'The Rite of UniversalIntercourse' in wh ich 'the actors/guides seek to consummate the action by a sexual unification'. As a consequence 'the division between actor 22 Primary Explorations 7. Paradise Now, photo: Gianfranco Mantegna and public diminishes'.