Writer-performer Stacie Chaiken’s solo plays include The Dig, death, Genesis + the double helix (2017 Los Angeles Stage Raw Theatre Award; 2019 premiere with original music by Yuval Ron); What She Left; and Looking for Louie. Recent work: Saint Vibiana, PRAY4US (2018) and Don’t Flinch (2019) are studies for [working title] Yuvaar:Porciuncula:Terraine Vague (Ceremonial Place:Little Portion:Empty Lot), a site-specific performance/public art project about the history of one square block in Downtown Los Angeles.
From 2014 to 2020, she served as story consultant for the Los Angeles-based New Ground: a Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, where she facilitated group-process writing and performance workshops. 2013 to 2014, she served as International Creative Director of Kwibuka, the 20th commemoration of the genocide in Rwanda, for which she designed and produced national memorial events in Rwanda, and around the world.
Formerly on the performance faculty of the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts and NYC’s Circle Repertory Company, Stacie runs an LA-based workshop for writers and performers called What’s the Story? and teaches master classes for people who want to create powerful stuff based on personal material.
Chaiken’s work has received the generous support of Wallis Annenberg Helix Project; Center for Cultural Innovation; Durfee Foundation; Fulbright Foundation; University of Southern California Visions & Voices program; California Arts Council; Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; USC Arts Initiative; Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture; Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity; and Hebrew Union College Artist in Residency program.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
MORE ABOUT ME
My most gratifying moment in the theatre, thus far, was the April 2019 realization of my vision for The Dig, the play I was commissions to write in Israel, in the middle of the Second Intifada. It took me sixteen years from the commission to the premiere, and another three years to raise the money and get a venue to commission and produce the musical accompaniment for the play, as I’d always imagined it. We were set to tour this year and next; luckily I have a really good feature-quality film of the play with music.
I feel most like myself when I am performing, or preparing to perform work based — or loosely based — on personal material
I overcome disappointment by getting back to work.
I imagine telling stories in these times via audio, not so much via video or virtual media. Not sure why. I think Maybe because it leaves so much to the imagination. I like radio theatre, for that reason. It asks a lot of actors, and I like that.
I also imagine creating theatre in spaces that are safe for a live audience, in these times. My friend Jon Rivera’s company Playwrights Arena is producing a play in the parking garage at the LA LGBT Center; Yuval Sharon is doing the same with an opera in Detroit. One of my creative partners is the parking lot company that owns the land I’m writing about in Yovaar…. They’ll let me use one of their lots for a performance. After the election.
WHAT I’M WORKING ON
Staying safe and sane; keeping my family safe; doing what I can to transform the political reality; preparing my play Looking for Louie for publication. Breathing.
Feminist, Jewish, Interfaith, Thriller, Political, Equality, Historical, Memoir, Immersive/Site-Specific, Radio Plays, Verse, Global Stories, Immigration, World War II, Holocaust, Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Resistance, Los Angeles, Middle East