Anne Bogart’s Chess Match No. 5, Inspired by John Cage, Sets Off-Broadway Bow

Off-Broadway News   Anne Bogart’s Chess Match No. 5, Inspired by John Cage, Sets Off-Broadway Bow
Abingdon Theatre Company is hosting the new play, based on Cage’s words.
John Cage
John Cage

The words of composer-writer-artist-philosopher John Cage served as the inspiration for Anne Bogart’s new play, Chess Match No. 5, which is getting its world premiere in March at Abingdon Theatre Company Off-Broadway.

Performances begin March 9 at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, Manhattan), with opening night scheduled for March 19.

Conceived and directed by Anne Bogart for the SITI Company, the show features text arranged by Jocelyn Clarke from Cage’s words, as performed by Will Bond and Ellen Lauren.

The play takes place over a single night and a single chess game. According to press notes, “Over 90 minutes, audiences will experience the wide-open mind-bending brilliance of Cage’s insights about the world, about art and music, philosophy and the adventures that life presents through the conversations that he engaged in throughout his life. Dense and humorous, graceful and penetrating, this is SITI Company in an adventurous mood, landing lightly upon the profound truths to which we can all relate.”

The production includes choreography by Barney O'Hanlon, scenic and costume design by James Schuette, lighting design by Brian H Scott, and sound design by Tony Award winner Darron L West.

Bogart is one of the three co-artistic directors of the SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. She has directed dozens of productions for SITI and elsewhere, including bobrauchesnbergamerica, by Charles L. Mee, Jr., at the BAM Next Wave Festival; The Seven Deadly Sins, by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, at New York City Opera; The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel at Circle Rep; In the Jungle of Cities by Bertolt Brecht at the Public Theater, and her most recent work, a revival of Lost in the Stars by Kurt Weill, at Royce Hall in Los Angeles.

Chess Match No. 5 runs through April 2. For tickets, visit or call (212) 352-3101.


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