Like her brother, Joseph Chaikin, Obie-award winning actress, Shami Chaikin has a passion for theatre. In 1963, Joe founded The Open Theater, which allowed artists to experiment with unconventional and organic drama techniques. To much acclaim, Shami appeared in legendary Open Theater productions of THE SERPENT: A CEREMONY, ANTIGONE, UNCLE VANYA, and THE DYBBUK. She also performed in the national and international tours of VIET ROCK, MUTATION SHOW (1973) – for which she won an Obie, and NIGHTWALK (1974). She was awarded a TNC Villager Award for Excellence in Theatre for her performance in Jean-Claude van Itallie’s BAG LADY (1979).
Shami has also written a play, SELMA, which premiered at the Theater for the New City, directed by Karen Ludwig. The play is about a woman named Selma who turns 50 and prepares a celebratory dinner with four of her friends. Chaikin currently writes for and performs with a women’s writing and performance group called Stories Around the Table.