Login | Search:
Home | About Us | News | Events | Resources | ShowBiz | Directory | Gallery | Contact Us
 

Home : News : Artist in Spotlight

 Back

Artist in Spotlight
Association for Jewish Theatre
Book Reviews
Boston Stage
Call for Proposals
Children & Young people's Theatre
Conferences & Symposiums
David's Front Line
Editor's Notes
Ellen Schiff's Shelf
European Association for Jewish Culture - EAJC
Festival in Spotlight
Film Reviews
First Curtain
From Page to Stage
Global Arts Initiative
Heritage
Holocaust Theatre On line Collection (HTC)
Info Center
Interviews
Introduction to Jewish Theatre
Israeli Theatre Worldwide
Jacobo Kaufmann
Jewish Intercultural Performance Group
Kaleidoscope on New York Stage
Magazine Reviews
Merchant of Venice
Michael's Corner
New Publications
Open Space
Open Stage - Intercultural Junction
Philadelphia Stage
Play Reviews
Production Point
Productions on Tour
Recommended Website
Research & Collections
Revisiting the Past
Solo Performance - Online Catalogue
Spanish
Spanish / Español : Artículos
Spanish / Español : Noticias y actividades culturales
Story Theatre
Success Story
The Arab- Israeli Melting Pot
The Bible on Stage
The European Research Center
The New York Scene
The Next Generation
Theatre and Physics
Theatre in Spotlight
Upfront Europe
What's New in Israel ?
What's New in London ?
What's New in Washington DC ?
What's Next ?
What's up in Australia ?
What's up in Europe ?
Yiddish Theatre

Save
Print
Email Page
Post Comment

Joseph Chaikin, actor and director (1935 -2003)
By Moti Sandak

Joseph Chaikin, actor and director, was born in Brooklyn in 1935 and educated at Drake University. He directed one of the most influential experimental theater groups in the United States, the New York City based Open Theater, which he founded in 1963 after working as an actor with the Living Theater. For nearly a decade, the Open Theater devoted itself to the collaborative creation of drama, investigating the essential problems of human existence. Chaikin’s work with the Open Theater, which included directing 14 original plays, was honored with the Vernon Rice Award for "outstanding contribution to the theater." Among other distinctions, Chaikin was a six time Obie Award recipient, including the very first Lifetime Achievement Obie Award in 1977. He was also awarded two Guggenheim Fellowships, the National Endowment for the Art’s first Annual Distinguished Service to American Theater Award, The Edwin Booth Award, and honorary degrees from Drake University and Kent State University. In 1999 Chaikin was awarded the "Last Frontier" Directing Award at the Edward Albee Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska. His book, The Presence of the Actor, was re-released by TCG Publications in 1991. Chaikin was the first American director to be included in the Cambridge University Press’ Directors in Perspective series on the world’s most influential theater directors. He was one of four American directors to be featured in Routldege Press’ Twentieth Century Actor Training. His work has been documented in the Greenwood Press series of bio-bibliographies and in the film, "Going On" by Steve Gomer.

In 1984 Chaikin underwent open-heart surgery and experienced a stroke which resulted in aphasia. His recovery process was the source of inspiration for several theatrical pieces, including "The War In Heaven" (a collaboration with Sam Shepard), "The Traveler" by Jean-Claude van Itallie), "Struck Dumb" (a collaboration with Jean-Claude van Itallie) and "Night Sky" (developed with Susan Yankowitz). Chaikin continued to direct productions in New York for New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Theater Club and Women’s Project, Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Atlanta’s 7 Stages Theater, San Francisco’s Magic Theater, Toronto’s Studio Theater and Tel Aviv’s Neve Tzedek Theater. An acomplished teacher, Chaikin conducted workshops and seminars throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.

In 1992 Chaikin directed Bill Irwin in an Obie-award winning production of "Texts for Nothing" by Samuel Beckett at the Joseph Papp Public Theater. From 1994 to 1996, Chaikin worked with author Susan Yankowitz on a new version of "Terminal", a play originally created by the Open Theater in 1970. Chaikin’s 1996 collaboration with Sam Shepard, "When the World Was Green", was premiered at the Cultural Olympiad of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta and then played at New York’s Public Theatre, Cambridge’s American Repertory Theatre, and most recently at the Singapore Arts Festival and the Chekhov Festival at the Moscow Arts Theatre. Other recent directing credits include: "The Bald Soprano", Jean-Claude van Itallie’s "The Bird and the Hunter", "All My Sons", "God of Vengeance", Sam Shepard’s "States of Shock" and a version of "Texts for Nothing", featuring Del Hamilton (all at Seven Stages, Atlanta); Arthur Miller’s "The Last Yankee" and "I Can’t Remember Anything" (at Signature Theatre, New York), the collaboration, "Still Alive/Teasing Time", for the Mark Taper Forum’s New Works Festival, and Tennessee Williams’, "The Glass Menagerie", at the Yale Repertory Theatre, "Shut Eye" for The Pig Iron Theatre, and Sam Shepard's, "The Late Henry Moss", at Signature Theatre.

Joseph Chaikin died on June 22, 2003.

Resumé

AWARDS
Obie Awards for Acting
Man is Man
Victims of Duty
The Exception and the Rule

Obie Awards for Directing
The Serpent: A ceremony
The Mutation Show

Obie Award
Lifetime Achievement Award, 1977
(the first ever awarded by Village Voice)

Drama Desk Award
The Mutation Show

Belgrade International Theatre Festival
Terminal, 1st prize

Brandeis Creative Arts Award
The Serpent: A Ceremony

City University of New York Graduate Center
Edwin Booth Award

Vernon Rice Award

Guggenheim Fellowships (2)

National Endowment for the Arts
Distinguished Artist Fellowship Award

National Council on Communicative Disorders, Kennedy Center
8th Annual Individual Achievement Award

Honorary Ph.D. degrees
Drake University
Kent State University

FOUNDER
The Open Theater

The Winter Project

The Other Theater

PUBLICATIONS
The Presence of the Actor, 1972 (new edition 1991)

Letters and Texts, with Sam Shepard, 1989 (new edition 1994), including three collaborations: Tongues, Savage Love, War in Heaven

Directors in Perspective: Joseph Chaikin, by Eileen Blumenthal, 1984

Joseph Chaikin: A Bio-Bibliography, Alex Gildzen and Dimitris Karageorgiou, 1992

DIRECTING CREDITS
2003
Broken Glass
7 Stages, Atlanta, Georgia

Medea
Pacific Repertory Theatre, Carmel, California

That Tuesday
The Actors' Studio, New York

2002
Happy Days
The Cherry Lane, New York

A Delicate Balance
7 Stages, Atlanta, Georgia

2001
Body Pieces
Public Theatre New Plays Series, New York

The Late Henry Moss
Signature Theatre, New York

Shut Eye
Pig Iron Theater, Philadelphia

2000
Texts for Nothing
7 Stages, Atlanta Georgia

1999
The Glass Menagerie
Yale Repertory Theater, New Haven, Connecticut

States of Shock
7 Stages, Atlanta Georgia

1998
I Can't Remember Anything & The Last Yankee
Signature Theatre, New York

The Bald Soprano & The Bird and the Hunter
7 Stages, Atlanta

God of Vengeance
7 Stages, Atlanta

Still Alive/Teasing Time; The Older Project
Mark Taper Forum's New Works Series, Los Angeles

1997
Counting the Ways
Theater for the New City, New York

When the World Was Green (Chef's Fable)
The Magic Theater, San Francisco

All My Sons
7 Stages, Atlanta

1996
Nacht Und Traume
Judith Anderson Theater, New York

When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable) & Chicago
Signature Theater Company, New York

1969 Terminal 1996
Bitef Festival, Belgrade
7 Stages, Atlanta
PS 122, New York

When the World Was Green
Cultural Olympiad/7 Stages, Atlanta

1995
A Moviestar Has To Star In Black And White
Signature Theater Company, New York

Endgame
7 Stages, Atlanta

1994
Firmament
La Mama, New York

Tongues and Savage Love
Magic Theater, San Francisco

Angel Works
7 Stages, Atlanta

That Time
Judith Anderson Theatre, New York

1993
Talk To Me Like the Rain & Counting the Ways
Magic Theater, San Francisco

The War in Heaven & The Sandbox
7 Stages, Atlanta

Don Juan
Julliard School of Drama, New York

1994
Waiting for Godot
7 Stages, Atlanta

Texts for Nothing - with Bill Irwin
The Joseph Papp Public Theater, New York

1991
Night Sky
Judith Andersen Theater, New York

1990
Waiting for Godot
Taper, Too, Los Angeles

Developed: Night Sky - with Susan Yankowitz
American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco

1989
Developed: Utterance In The Firmament - about aphasia
San Francisco State University

1987
The Bald Soprano and The Leader
The Cubiculo Theatre, New York

1986
Imagining the Other: The Arab and the Jew
with Mira Rafalowicz, Tel Aviv, Israel

Solo Voyages, with Robbie McCauley
Interart Center, New York
American National Theatre, Washington, D.C.

The Detective
Magic Theatre, San Francisco

1983
Winter Project's Lies and Secrets
LaMama, New York

Developed Night Voices for radio

1982
Winter Project's Trespassing, co-directed by Steven Kent
LaMama, New York

Antigone
Public Theater, New York

Imagining The Other: The Arab and the Jew
workshop, Tel Aviv, Israel

1981
Winter Project's Tourists & Refugees No. 2
LaMama, New York
International Theater Festival, Caracas

1980
Winter Project's Tourists & Refugees
LaMama, New York

1979
Winter Project's Re-Arrangements
LaMama, New York

Endgame
Manhattan Theatre Club, New York

1978
The Dybbuk
Habimah Theater, Tel Aviv, Israel

1977
The Dybbuk
The Public Theater, New York

1976
Electra
St. Clement's Church, New York
North American Tour

1975
Chile, chile
Theatre of Latin America

A Fable: Telling About A Journey
The Mount, Lenox, Massachusetts
Westbeth Theater, New York

The Seagull
Manhattan Theatre Club, New York

1973
Nightwalk
St. Clement's, New York
Roundabout, London

1971
The Mutation Show
Space for Innovative Development, New York
Harvard University, Cambridge

1970
Terminal
Washington Square Church, New York
Harvard University, Cambridge

1969
The Serpent: A Ceremony
Public Theater, New York

1968
The Clown Play
Fourteenth Street Theater, New York
European Tour

1966
Interview from America Hurrah
Pocket Theater, New York

PERFORMANCE CREDITS
2000
Struck Dumb
for the Aphasia Community Group
Boston University Concert Hall

1999
Texts for Nothing
Berkshire Theater Festival, Stockbridge
A Contemporary Theater, Seattle

1998
The War in Heaven
Magic Theatre, San Francisco

1997
Texts for Nothing
Magic Theater, San Francisco

1996
Texts for Nothing, directed by Anders Cato
The Royal Court Theatre, London
International Arts Festival, Edinburgh

The War in Heaven & Texts for Nothing
La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego

1995
Texts for Nothing, directed by Nancy Gabor
Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp

The War in Heaven & What Is The Word?
Exiles Theater Festival, Cork, Ireland

1991
The War in Heaven & Struck Dumb
The American Place Theater, New York

1989
The War in Heaven
Sam Shepard Festival, Amsterdam,

Struck Dumb and The War in Heaven
Cleveland, Minneapolis, Seattle
Florence, Milan, Italy

1988
Struck Dumb (collaboration with Jean-Claude van Itallie)
Taper Too Theatre, Los Angeles
Kent State University

1987
The War in Heaven
International Theater Festival, Warsaw, Poland
London, Leicester, England
7 Stages, Atalanta

1986
The War in Heaven
DuMaurier World Stage, Toronto

1985
Is This Real?, directed by Ronnie Gilbert
Interart Center, New York
National Theatre, Washington, D.C.

1984
Developed The War in Heaven (collaboration with Sam Shepard) for radio
Broadcast on WBAI (New York City) and in Canada

1983
Uncle Vanya, directed by Andrei Serban
La Mama, New York

Texts for Nothing
International Theater Congress, Toronto

1981
Texts For Nothing, directed by Steven Kent
The Public Theater, New York
San Francisco, London, Paris

1980
Tongues & Savage/Love
The Public Theater, New York
Paris, Rome and Milan

1979
Savage/Love (collaboration with Sam Shepard)
Eureka Theater, San Francisco

1978
Tongues (collaboration with Sam Shepard)
Magic Theater, San Francisco

1976
Woyzeck
Public Theater, New York

1969
Endgame, directed by Roberta Sklar
Fourteenth Street Theater, New York

1967
Me and My Brother
a film by Robert Frank

1965
The Exception and the Rule
Greenwich Mews Theater, New York

1964
Victim of Duty
Writers Stage Company, New York

1963
And Things That Go Bump In The Night
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis

1962
Man Is Man
The Living Theater, New York

1959
The Connection
The Living Theater, New York

Many Loves
The Living Theater, New York

About The Open Theater

The Open Theater, one of the world's leading avant-garde theater ensembles, was founded in 1963 as a workshop. It was directed by Joseph Chaikin, a key figure in contemporary American drama.

Chaikin, formerly an actor with the Living Theater, founded the group with Peter Feldman to experiment, establish new forms and "open the bodies and minds of actors and audience." Productions were collaborative and began with exercises and group discussion.

"America Hurrah" and "Viet Rock," two of off-Broadway's most significant dramas of the 1960s, originated in Open Theater workshops.

Together with playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie, whose papers are also at Kent, the Open Theater collaborated on "The Serpent," which won an Ohio award, has been produced around the world and was presented on National Educational Television.

The group's late works include the "Terminal," a study of death and resurrection which has been presented off-Broadway and has toured prisons throughout New York City, "The Mutations Show" and "Nightwalk."

Having performed throughout Europe, Middle East, Algeria and U.S., the Open Theater gave its final performance in California in December 1973


Page 1
Page 2

Related Links:

  • Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard
  • Resources
  • The Bible Workshops at The Open Theater
  • A brief History of The Open Theatre by Jean Claude van Itallie
  • I CAN'T REMEMBER ANYTHING By Arthur Miller and Joseph Chaikin
  • Jean-Claude van Itallie
  • The Presence of the Actor by Joseph Chaikin
  • Joseph Chaikin, Papers 1935-2003
  • Friends on Joe Chaikin
  • Friends on Joe Chaikin (part 2)
  • between change and transformation

    Bookmark    Print    Send to friend    Post a comment  


    There are currently no comments about this article


  • Joseph Chaikin(1935 -2003.)

    The Bible Workshops at The Open Theater

    The Bible Workshops at The Open Theater

    Copyright © 2002 - 2014 All About Jewish Theatre. All rights reserved.
    Concept and Content by NCM Productions | Graphic Design by Sharon Carmi | Programming by Tigersoft, Ltd.
    Privacy Policy | Site Map | Contact Us