Squat Theatre — Peter Berg, Eva Buchmuller, Anna Koos, Peter Halasz, and Stephen Balint — was a major presence in the downtown art and theater world of New York, where they lived and worked from 1977 until 1985. In Budapest, Hungary, where they were known as the Apartment Theatre between 1971 and 1976, their performances had been banned, and the group performed in members' apartments and on the streets.
After emigrating to New York, the group lived in a rented storefront on West 23rd Street, which also became their performance space. Seated in the back of the store, spectators faced the window to the street, which provided a permanent, live, and often highly theatrical background. "The storefront was a situation where fiction and reality could mix because there was real life behind as a background and sometimes real life intervened," stated Eva Buchmuller.
With their radical notions of theater, Squat questioned the very act of spectatorship, the boundary between art and life, the fictive and the real. In 1997, Artists' Space in New York presented a retrospective of Squat Theatre's work. EAI is pleased to present video documents of their three major theatrical pieces.