Organization

Chelsea Theater Center



BAM Affiliation Established in 1965, the Chelsea Theater Center presented its first three seasons in Manhattan and in 1968 became the resident company at BAM. For artistic director Robert Kalfin, who formed a partnership with Michael David, the company's repertoire at BAM was envisioned as a mix of new plays, "unknown" classics, and plays that had been largely overlooked or forgotten--works by major African-American playwrights, including The Gentleman Caller by Ed Bullins and Slave Ship by LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka); groundbreaking British and European plays, including Edward Bond's Saved, Jean Genet's The Screens, Peter Handke's Kaspar, and Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz's The Crazy Locomotive; plays by major writers known primarily for their work in other genres, notably Allen Ginsberg's Kaddish, Isaac Babel's Sunset, and Isaac Bashevis Singer's Yentl the Yeshiva Boy, adapted with Leah Napolin; and innovative and nontraditional music-theater works, including John Gay's The Beggar's Opera and the Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht collaboration Happy End. After a decade, in 1978, the Chelsea ended its residency at BAM as it struggled for survival, but it remained a significant part of the BAM experience that attracted an array of talented, often emerging, artists, including Glenn Close, Alan Schneider, Willa Kim, James Woods, Frank Langella, Tovah Feldshuh, Des McAnuff, Christopher Lloyd, and Meryl Streep.




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