A non-partisan journal of the left.

About Jean Claude van Itallie

Based: US
Belgian-born American playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie was a seminal force in the explosive 60's off-off New York theatre movement. His play “America Hurrah,” a hit inrk and at the Royal Court Theatre in London, is considered a watershed in the anti-Viet Nam war movement. An early LaMama playwright, van Itallie wrote the ensemble play “The Serpent” for Joe Chaikin’s Open Theater. Van Itallie’s translations of Chekhov’s major plays of are widely produced in America. A long-time Tibetan Buddhist, van Itallie wrote a play of “The Tibetan Book of the Dead,” is co-writing the libretto for an opera on life of Milarepa, “Mila, Great Sorcerer.” In 2000 in New York and LA, van Itallie performed in his one-man show, War, Sex, and Dreams,” which is also the name of the memoirs he is just completing. His more than thirty other plays include “The Traveller” (produced in at the Mark Taper in LA and in London at the Almeida with David Threlfall), “Bag Lady,” “War,” and “Light” An inspired teacher of writing and performance workshops, van Itallie has transformed the old farm where he lives in Western Massachusetts into Shantigar Foundation for healing/meditation/theatre.(See vanitallie.com and Shantigar.org)

Articles Written

Review: The Master

by Jean Claude van Itallie

Sun 28th Oct 2012
OK, I saw "The Master." Now I know what the fuss is about. I don't pretend to know the film's "message" but I walked out afterward seeing/feeling the world from its point of view, writes Jean Claude van Italie.... [read more]

New smells, old smells

by Jean Claude van Itallie

Fri 4th May 2012
In the 60's I assigned myself the meditation of walking extremely slowly down 14th Street, Greenwich Village’s northern border, to Union Square, allowing my senses to notice acrid smells, loud sounds, crowded store windows – but not letting my mind grab for any of it, says Jean Claude van Itallie.... [read more]

Musings on the shortest day of 2011

by Jean Claude van Itallie

Mon 26th Dec 2011
One year from today is the end of the Mayan calendar, the predicted “end of history,” as the late brilliant ethnobotanist and art historian Terrence McKenna called it, says Jean Claude van Itallie.... [read more]

Good and Evil

by Jean Claude van Itallie

Sat 3rd Dec 2011
What happened to considerations of good and evil? This is the question that Jean Claude van Itallie ponders.... [read more]

The higher you build your barriers, the taller I become...

by Jean Claude van Itallie

Sat 19th Nov 2011
Jean Claude Van Itallie shows how a recent crackdown on Occupy protesters in the US will only bring more people out into the streets, as the 99% realise they have the power. ... [read more]

Occupation of Wall Street- going from strength to strength

by Jean Claude van Itallie

Sun 16th Oct 2011
Jean Claude van Itallie gives an update on the Occupy Wall Street campaign ... [read more]

These are the days of decision

by Jean Claude van Itallie

Sat 8th Oct 2011
Jean Claude van Itallie reflects on the recent occupation of Wall Street... [read more]

'Justice' American style

by Jean Claude van Itallie

Tue 27th Sep 2011
Jean Claude van Itallie tells how the state of Georgia callously executed an innocent man, Troy Davis.... [read more]