Lee Breuer

Excerpt from the Lower East Side Biography Project

Steve Zehentner: Producer, Director of Photography

Lee Breuer is a playwright, director, filmmaker, poet, & lyricist. He is a co-artistic director of Mabou Mines Theater Company, which he founded in 1970 with JoAnne Akalaitis, Philip Glass, Ruth Maleczech, and David Warrilow. A recipient of the Chevalier Des Arts et Lettres presented by the French Ministry of Culture & a MacArthur Fellowship, Breuer is perhaps best known for The Gospel at Colonus, a collaboration with Bob Telson, which has toured internationally for 30 years, & was nominated for a Pulitzer, Grammy, Tony, and Emmy, and Mabou Mines DollHouse which toured for 10 years to 5 continents & won Obies for Best Director and Best Performance (2004), as well as 2 Elliot Norton Awards. With Eric Marciano, Breuer is currently working on a documentary on the life of Clarence Fountain of The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Book of Clarence.

The Lower East Side Biography Project was created in 1999 by performance artist Penny Arcade and video producer Steve Zehentner as an ongoing biography series and oral history archive. The LES Bio Project’s biographies and archive work to ensure that future generations have access to the mad souls of invention and rebellion that built the Lower East Side’s international reputation as an incubator for authenticity and iconoclasm in art, culture and politics.

The project seeks to stem the tide of cultural amnesia by bridging the cultural gap between long time residents and newcomers to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of New York’s Lower East Side. To this end, the LES Bio Project has a community-media training component where young filmmakers are trained in production and post-production technologies and then become shepherds of an individual oral history that they edit into a 28-minute biography. Since its inception, the LES Bio Project has trained over forty individuals, completed over sixty 28-minute programs, and videotaped dozens more interviews and live events.

The completed biographies cablecast and stream live every Monday at 11 p.m EST, in Manhattan on Time Warner 34, RCN 82, FIOS 33, and live stream on Manhattan Neighborhood Network Community Channel One.

View the current cablecast and livestream schedule on the project's Facebook page.