Back in 1992, Joseph Chaikin directed Bill Irwin in an Obie-winning staging of Texts For Nothing at the Public Theater in New York. Now Chaikin has been able to put his own imprint on this collection of monologues; he's been helming eight performances of the Samuel Beckett piece at Seattle, WA's A Contemporary Theatre, Sept. 16-26.
For nearly a decade, Chaikin headed the most influential experimental group around, The Open Theater (founded in 1963). His work with them garnered six Obie awards for shows including: Viet Rock, The Serpent, Terminal, and Nightwalk. With Sam Shepard, Chaikin has worked on numerous texts including: Tongues, Savage/Love, The War in Heaven, and When the World Was Green.
Chaikin had a stroke in 1984, which drastically changed the focus of his theatrical themes. Several recent Chaikin pieces: Heaven, Struck Dumb, The Traveler, and Night Sky all were, in one way or the other, autobiographical, detailing Chaikin's long recovery process.
Chaikin has recently put his talents to two other 20th Century theater legends: Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. He staged Miller's The Last Yankee and I Can't Remember Anything at NYC's Signature Theatre two seasons back, and he directed Williams' The Glass Menagerie at Yale Rep this past March.
Directed by Anders Cato, Texts For Nothing is part of ACT's Bullitt [sic] Cabaret Series. The show also received a staging, Sept. 2-3, at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Cambridge, MA. For tickets and information on the ACT mounting of Texts For Nothing call (206) 292-7676.
-- By David Lefkowitz and Sean McGrath