The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Kathleen Chalfant

Kathleen Chalfant

Actress
Born on Sunday, January 14, 1945

Interviewed on: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Location: Primary Stages Offices
Interviewed by: Casey Childs
Interview #36
"The theatre that's 'always dying' never does...all you have to do is show up and you can make something."
Kathleen Chalfant Highlights
Video Length: 5 minutes, 45 seconds
Kathleen Chalfant Interview
Video Length: 2 hours, 11 minutes

Kathleen Chalfant is an actress, and she was formerly a member of the staff of Playwrights Horizons and a founding member of The Women’s Project. During her tenure at Playwrights Horizons, the following shows were produced: DEMONS: A  POSSESSION (1974), COWBOY PICTURES (1974), THE FIRST WEEK IN BOGOTA (1975), MISSION (1975), AN EVENING WITH MA BELL (1975), THE CORONER’S PLOT (1975), NEW YORK! NEW YORK! (1975), and LEANDER STILLWELL (1975). Her Off-Broadway acting credits include: COWBOY PICTURES (1974), FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (1978), KILLINGS ON THE LAST LINE (1980), JUST SAY NO (1988), THE INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER IN EL SALVADOR (1989), THE CRUCIBLE(1990), TWELVE DREAMS (1995), ENDGAME (2005), HENRY V (1996), PHAEDRA IN DELIRIUM (1998), WIT(1998), THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES (1999), TALKING HEADS (2003), GREAT EXPECTATIONS (2006), SPALDING GRAY: STORIES LEFT TO TELL (2007), DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE (2008), FAMILY WEEK  (2010), SOMEWHERE FUN (2013), and TALES FROM RED VIENNA (2014). In 1996, she won the Joe A. Callaway Award for playing Mistress Quickly/Queen Isabel in HENRY V. She won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, OBIE, and Lucille Lortel Awards for her performance in WIT. In 2003, she won another OBIE Award for playing Susan in TALKING HEADS.

Chalfant was born in San Francisco, California and was raised in Oakland. She studied acting with Wynn Handman and Alessandro Fersen. In addition to Off-Broadway, she has worked in film, television, and on Broadway. Her film credits include: Five Corners (1987), The Laramie Project (2002), The Last Days of Disco (1998), Duplicity (2009), The People Speak (2009), Isn't It Delicious (2013), and Class Rank (2017). Her television credits include: “Storm of the Century,” “Prince Street,” “The Book of Daniel,” “Rescue Me,” “House of Cards,” “The Affair,” and “Doubt.” Chalfant’s Broadway credits include: M. Butterfly (1988), Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (1993), Angels in America: Perestroika (1993),and Racing Demon (1995). In 1993, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress for Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. She married Henry Chalfant, a photographer and documentary filmmaker, in 1966. They have two children, David (a guitarist and bass player based in Massachusetts) and Andromache (a set designer in New York).

Mentioned in Interview

Wynn Handman, Tony Kushner, Alessandro Fersen, Playwrights Horizons, NYSF/The Public, The Women’s Project, WIT, ANGELS IN AMERICA, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS, COWBOY PICTURES, KILLINGS ON THE LAST LINE, THE INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER IN EL SALVADOR, THE CRUCIBLE, ENDGAME, TALKING HEADS, TALKING HEADS, THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES

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