Since its founding in 1974 by Paul Zimet, Ellen Maddow, and Tina Shepard—all former members of Joseph Chaikin’s seminal Open Theater—The Talking Band has remained a cornerstone of New York City’s avant-garde theater community. Ben Brantley of The New York Times recently called them “one of the boldest and most venerable politically minded companies in New York experimental theater.” American Theater magazine has deemed them “one of the most exceptional theater companies in the country.”
Collectively, the company and founders have earned 15 OBIE awards and numerous other honors. The company has performed at nearly all of New York City’s celebrated downtown venues, including La MaMa, PS 122, Theater for the New City, Dance Theater Workshop, The Ohio Theater, The Flea Theater and HERE Arts Center. Nearly 50 of its original productions have toured the United States and the world. Notable productions include Marcellus Shale, The Walk Across America For Mother Earth, Bitterroot, Radnevsky’s Real Magic, Painted Snake in a Painted Chair, Black Milk Quartet and The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol.
Over the past 49 years The Talking Band has created over fifty new works illuminating the extraordinary dimensions of ordinary life, each marked by a commitment to radical collaboration and a fusion of diverse theatrical styles and perspectives. Combining richly textured music-theater with striking visual imagery, The Talking Band’s elegant, eloquent, profound performance work is infused with creative generosity that makes each show an experience that is as emotionally moving as it is aesthetically rich.