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Hanon Reznikov, 1950-2008

Judith Mahoney Pasternak May 16, 2008

Photo: Living Theatre

The world of art for revolution’s sake suffered a heavy loss with the untimely death May 3 of Hanon Reznikov, co-director since 1985 of New York’s avant-garde, antiwar, anti-capitalist Living Theatre. He was 57.

Reznikov was one of the three leaders — the others were husband-and wife co-founders Julian Beck (1925-1985) and Judith Malina — who helped the Living Theater remain a vital force in experimental and political theater locally, and worldwide, since its founding in 1947. He had been with the company for half of its 60 years.

Born in Brooklyn in 1950, he studied biophysics at Yale University before going into theater. He joined the Living Theatre in 1977 and became its co-director after Beck’s death in 1985, writing and directing many productions including Utopia, a “celebration of … the wished-for world;” Capital Changes, a critique of six centuries of capitalism; and the antiwar theater piece, Resistance.

Reznikov and Malina married in 1988. Last month, he suffered a stroke and then contracted pneumonia, of which he died last week. He is survived by Malina; his stepchildren, Garrick Beck and Isha Beck Appell; a brother, James Reznik in California; and a grieving Living Theatre company.