The Playgoer: Austin Pendleton Gets His Due

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Austin Pendleton Gets His Due

Theatre veteran and recognizable character actor Austin Pendleton is finally getting something like his due at the age of 70 during quite a busy year. Between directing a major Off Broadway hit (Three Sisters at CSC) and a Steppenwolf hit (now bound-for-B'way), Lisa D'Amour's Detroit, in addition to currently starring in (and directing) a little showcase staging of Tennesee Williams' Small Craft Warnings. Then Lincoln Center is producing playwright-Pendleton's reworking of Shaw's Candida (called The Minister's Wife).

And as if this actor, playwright, director has not been ubiquitous enough in both New York and Chicago (where he's a Steppenwolf ensemble member), he also remains a popular teacher, as the NY Post attests in a class visit.

And as is evident in his recent Time Out feature interview, here is an artist who exemplifies the spirit necessary to keep the American Theatre going in such hard times--using your film and tv earnings to subsidize a very small-paying stage vocation, fueled by pure love for the artform, genuine boundless enthusiasm, and an incredible amount of energy for someone of any age.

And if you still can't get enough of the guy (and I know I can't) here's a nice A/V Club interview from last year, and a trailer for an upcoming documentary!

Where the Work Is: The Austin Pendleton Project - Teaser 1 from 4Hawk Productions on Vimeo.


John said...

I adore Austin. I lived in NYC for three years and studied with him for two. I never felt more like an actor, nor more proud of my vocation, when I was there.

Rob Weinert-Kendt said...

I'm a big fan, too--and I had the pleasure of writing about him twice when I worked at TDF. The piece here has a great anecdote about his first impressions of Steppenwolf
And this one is about his Vanya at CSC a few years back
Just for those who can't get enough. Thought he was great in Cormac McCarty's "Sunset Limited," btw.

Anonymous said...

He's a gem. I interned at Circle Rep when he was the AD for a brief period. The theatre closed shortly after his tenure, but through no fault of his--he was the only bright spot in the dark, bankrupt days of that venerable institution.

Anonymous said...

Any fans of Austin who would like to see him read a scene from his show Orson's Shadow please join us at our fundraising gala! He will be playing Laurence Olivier :D