Chaplin & Keaton on the Set of Limelight

FULL LENGTH - What would it be like to witness two geniuses at work?

Silent Comedy legends Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton worked together only once, on Chaplin's last movie before being exiled from the United States. For the deeply autobiographical Limelight, Chaplin cast the down on his luck Keaton to play a small part in his nostalgic story of an old comedian doing one last performance...
FULL LENGTH - What would it be like to witness two geniuses at work?

Silent Comedy legends Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton worked together only once, on Chaplin's last movie before being exiled from the United States. For the deeply autobiographical Limelight, Chaplin cast the down on his luck Keaton to play a small part in his nostalgic story of an old comedian doing one last performance. This play imagines what it might have been like on that set while exploring the lives of these two titans of cinema.

CHAPLIN AND KEATON ON THE SET OF LIMELIGHT explores the tension between the desire to entertain and the need to fight for a greater world in politically dangerous times. What responsibilities does an artist have beyond bringing a smile to the face of an audience?
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Chaplin & Keaton on the Set of Limelight

Recommended by

  • Everett Robert:
    3 Feb. 2019
    Hollywood loves films about Hollywood, thinking that the rest of the world wants to see what they do. Sometimes these films are successful, sometimes they aren't. I think entertainers like to make entertainment about entertainers, much like chefs like to cook for other chefs. What sets Greg Lam's "Chaplin & Keaton on the set of Limelight" different is that it recognizes this tendency and pokes fun at it. This is a very funny and poignant play about funny people who either want to change the world or make them laugh. I laughed. I cried. I look at things differently. Bravo.
  • Greg Hovanesian:
    7 Feb. 2018
    Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were giants of the early cinema world. But it’s easy to forget that they were also human, both of whom had careers that ended tragically. In this thought-provoking play, the pair team up to work together on the set of Chaplin’s Limelight, and we see the human side of these artists. The audience is faced with a very difficult question: in times of political darkness and uncertainty, what is the job of artists? To simply entertain? Or to reach for something deeper, more profound? This is an important piece for today's political climate.

Character Information

  • Charles Chaplin
    62,
    White
    ,
    Male
    White haired but still fit and vibrant. His Cockney accent is almost, but not quite, eradicated and replaced by a consciously cultured sound. Emotions bubble easily to his face. Usually energetic but sometimes shows a great fatigue from years of struggle.
  • Buster Keaton
    56,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Looks easily as old as Charlie, face weathered by age, drink, and poverty, but still energetic. He sometimes laughs and smiles, though his face is usually inexpressive, which was his trademark. Deep baritone voice. He’s physically fit for a man his age. Shorter than Chaplin.
  • The Tramp
    30
    Chaplin’s famous screen persona. Derby hat, baggy pants, smallish coat, all worn and faded, a bamboo cane and a toothbrush mustache, black. His trademark is his grace and elegance, which lets him dance out of trouble.
  • The Girl
    20,
    Female
    Beautiful blond 1950’s starlet. Plays the foil in The Tramp and Stone Face’s comedy skits, plus breaks out and narrates when necessary. She looks wholesome and sweet with a great smile and look.
  • Stone Face
    30
    Buster’s famous screen persona. Porkpie hat, baggy pants, caked on white make-up, clean shaven. Short (5’3” or so) but powerfully built. He’s known for never smiling, accepting his fate with deadpan stoicism.
  • Claire Bloom/Oona Chaplin
    20,
    White
    ,
    Female
    Both are beautiful, slender, dignified, and elegant. Long brown straight hair. The two characters look identical. Their only real distinguishing feature is that Claire is British and Oona is American.
  • Beverly
    27,
    Female
    Very American. Curly red hair, not as refined or glamorous as The Girl, a bit forward and brash.

Development History