Open Theatre



  • An off-off-Broadway theater company founded in NewYork in 1963 by Joseph Chaikin, formerly of the Living Theatre,and Peter Feldman. The group pioneered a form of collective creation,in which the cast would improvize around a script that the dramatistwould then rewrite incorporating their ideas. Their first full-lengthplay, Viet Rock (1966) by Megan Terry (1932 - ),addressed the horrors of the Vietnam war. Other productions includedThe Serpent (1968), Terminal (1969), Mutation Show(1971), and Nightwalk (1973).

    The group borrowed many of its ideas from Jerzy Grotowski'spoor theater, employing minimal scenery, props, and lighting.Actors moved freely from one role into another and appeared in theirrehearsal clothes without make-up. The company was reorganized asa collective in 1970 and subsequently performed mainly for universityand prison audiences until its dissolution in 1973.