Joseph Chaikin founded The Open Theatre in 1963, after having worked with The Living Theatre; he was later associated with many other companies. For his work with The Open Theatre he was honored with the Vernon Rice Award. He also received six Obie Awards and the National Endowment for the Art's Distinguished Service to American Theater Award, The Edwin Booth Award, among many other honors. His book on theatre is The Presence of the Actor.

Mr. Chaikin died in 2003 at the age of 67.

An excerpt from Steve Capra's interview with Mr. Chaikin
in Theater Voices

SC: Can the theater have the same importance for American audiences, now, that it did for Ibsen's audience. Even though film and television get so much attention, can the theater be that important again, in terms of spreading ideas?

JC: I think that theater today expresses ideas in ways that Ibsen would admire, but they're not to the Ibsen audience. For example, there are many, many types of theater devoted to marginal cultures, who never get expression in the media - and the theater is their vehicle.