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By Joseph Chaikin

Chaikin, who directed the distinguished Open Theater within the '60s, kindled an emphasis on communal playmaking whose influence continues to be glaring this present day. This conversational assessment of his efforts information his tools and divulges the struggles fascinated with the production of a few of the main intriguing theatre of our time.

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GEORGE BERNARD SHAW A nyone in prison believes that outside his walls is a free world. --BERTRAND RUSSELL Whenever there is too much discipline it is invariably being imposed by someone else. --CHOGYAM TRUNGPA People are so swamped by the conditions of modern life that they do not really believe that these evils are human artifacts and could be otherwise. --PAUL GOODMAN Individual sanity is not immune to mass insanity. --ALDOUS HUXLEY This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.

But they were free of all the aspirations and assumptions of established theater. Most recently, the strongest influence on me has been the company of people with whom I've been working, and their ideas and their lives. SUMMER STOCK My first professional job was in a summer stock company in Pennsylvania, where I played the side- 4-5 THE PRESENCE OF THE ACTOR kick in No Time for Sergeants. I was excited beyond all measure. When I got there, we were told that each actor had to come up with the full "characterization" in one day and the production would be mounted in one week.

Just before a performance the actor usually has additional energy, like an electric field. It's a free- 21 THE PRESENCE OF THE ACTOR heightened space in which the actor stands. If the actor becomes at all tense, he is applying this unused energy by holding on-the way one holds onto a suitcase. The tension will form in the body of the actor as well as in the mind. This question of tension is fundamental. I know that the opportunity of being present with a given audience is only once at a time, and I want to be there, available to the occasion.

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