Chess Match No. 5

Premiere: 
March 2017
Location: 
The Abingdon, New York City

For many years Anne Bogart and SITI have wanted to create a project celebrating the great American composer, writer, artist, and philosopher John Cage. Chess Match No. 5 is a play based upon texts from the many public conversations that John Cage conducted with others over his lifetime and is the first step towards the realization of a large-scale cross-disciplinary project entitled Theater Piece #1. Chess Match No. 5 will serve as an anchor and organizing principle for all of the component parts and collaborators of Theater Piece #1. 

Chess Match No. 5 is a new play by Jocelyn Clarke, based on texts from the many public conversations with American composer, writer, artist, and philosopher John Cage. SITI actors Will Bond and Ellen Lauren create a unique live art performance, part chess game and part music happening, which explores the words and ideas of a visionary artist. Come experience the wide-open mind-bending brilliance of Cage’s insights about the world, about art and music, philosophy and the adventures that life presents through the conversations that he engaged in throughout his life. Dense and humorous, graceful and penetrating, this is SITI Company in an adventurous mood, landing lightly upon the profound truths to which we all can relate.

Jocelyn Clarke has worked with SITI Company on numerous projects, including Bob, Room, Score, Antigone and Trojan Women (After Euripides). His understanding of the way SITI works, his sympathy for the unique collaborative process and atmosphere of frank critique critical to the Company’s projects makes him an invaluable co-creator.

Conceived and Directed by Anne Bogart
Text arranged by Jocelyn Clarke from the words of John Cage

Created by SITI Company

Featuring Will Bond & Ellen Lauren


Choreographer Barney O’Hanlon
Scenic and Costume Designer James Schuette
Lighting Designer Brian H Scott
Sound Designer Darron L West
Assistant Director Molly Bernard
Assistant Sound Designer Tyler Kieffer
Production Stage Manager Ellen Mezzera




Early development of Chess Match No. 5 occurred during SITI Work/Space, SITI’s in-house residency for new play development, which was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and public funds from the New Yokr City Department of Cultural Affairs. This production is funded, in part, by the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation and the Dramatists Guild Fund.