MacArthur Fellows Program

Lee Breuer

Playwright and Theater Director | Class of 1997

Playwright and Theater Director
New York, New York
60 at time of award
Area of Focus
Theatrical Arts
Published July 1, 1997

About Lee's Work

Lee Breuer is a theater director and writer whose work expands the boundaries of storytelling in the American theater.

Breuer's theatrical presentations span performance art, theater, film, video, music, the visual arts, literature, and the opera, and have engaged audiences beyond the avant-garde world where his early work originated.  After more than 10 years of producing theater in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Breuer moved to New York to co-found the Mabou Mines theater company in 1970 and to begin a career of theatrical experimentation.  His blending of disciplines and techniques from widely different cultures creates a unique performance art genre in which visual arts elements, sound and musical components, and arresting movement/dance fuse into a genuinely original form.  His unprecedented merger of Greek theater and gospel service is now a classic of modern theater.  His works include The Lost Ones (1976), Sister Suzie Cinema (1980), A Prelude to Death in Venice (1980), The Gospel at Colonus (1983), The Warrior Ant (1986), Peter and Wendy (1997), and Dollhouse (2003).


Breuer writes, directs, and performs with Mabou Mines, serving as a co-artistic director.  He also works on commission outside the company, and lectures widely.

Breuer received a B.A. (1958) from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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