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

  • Kevin Cirone:
    17 Apr. 2019
    Absolute magic to think of two Hollywood legends, each with radically divergent views on the nature of art and the role of film in people's lives on the world stage, and how it resonates even louder today. Keaton's explanation of comedy gave me chills. Well done.
  • John Minigan:
    13 Apr. 2019
    This play captures not just a moment in movie history and a meeting of two of the great artists of the last century, it also poses essential questions about the nature of the artistic impulse and the importance of art in the world. Is it imperative to do more than entertain, especially in the face of crisis and hatred? And where will fulfillment come from for an artist? Highly theatrical storytelling, with "silent" sequences that give us the creative world of these geniuses as they work through their differences. Compelling and remarkable.
  • 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.

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