The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Peter Maloney

Peter Maloney

Actor, Director, Playwright
Born on Thursday, November 23, 1944

Interviewed on: Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Location: Primary Stages Offices
Interviewed by: Sally Plass
Interview #3
"The Open Theater…was extremely of the moment. Politically of the moment. Spiritually of the moment. I mean, it was perfect for its time. It was of its time."
Peter Maloney Highlights
Video Length: 4 minutes, 14 seconds
Peter Maloney Interview
Video Length: 2 hours, 28 minutes

Peter Maloney is an actor, director, and playwright whose career has spanned over 50 years. He has worked with these Off-Broadway companies: the Atlantic Theater Company (23 plays, including David Mamet’s DUCK VARIATIONS, THE WATER ENGINE, MR. HAPPINESS, THE VOYSEY INHERTIANCE, THE NEW YORK IDEA, TRUMPERY, DYING FOR IT, and THREE KINDS OF EXILE), the Irish Repertory Theatre (ERNEST IN LOVE, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Conor McPherson’s PORT AUTHORITY, and John McManus’ THE QUARE LAND), Signature Theatre (Bill Irwin’s MR. FOX, A RUMINATION, and Arthur Miller’s THE LAST YANKEE), Theatre for a New Audience (THE TAMING OF THE SHREW and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING), Lincoln Center Theater (OUR TOWN, CAROUSEL, ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS, DINNER AT EIGHT, ARCADIA, and SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION), Ensemble Studio Theatre (PIGEONS and LENIN’S EMBALMERS), and The Public Theater (Martin McDonough’s THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN and David Rabe’s THE ORPHAN), as well as Theatre Genesis. Other Off-Broadway acting credits include: Sam Shepard’s THE UNSEEN HAND/FORENSIC AND THE NAVIGATORS and Arabal’s AND THEY PUT HANDCUFFS ON THE FLOWERS.

For four years (1966-1970), Maloney was a member of Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theater, appearing in the US and in Europe in THE SERPENT (created by the company in collaboration with Jean-Claude van Itallie), TERMINAL (created by the company in collaboration with Susan Yankowitz), MASKS, UBU COCU, and Beckett’s ENDGAME, in which he played “Clov” to Jospeh Chaikin’s “Hamm.” He appeared with the Open Theater in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Zabriskie Point and in Luciano Berio’s Opera (based in part on TERMINAL) at the Santa Fe Opera.

He directed at such companies as the WPA Theatre (Sandra Bullock in Larry Ketron’s NO TIME FLAT), The Public Theater (Tommy Lee Jones in Jack Gilhooley’s THE TIME TRIAL), the Hudson Guild (John Byrne’s THE SLAB BOYS), and Ensemble Studio Theatre (Lois Smith and Thomas Gibson in Romulus Linney’s JULIET (later directing a film of the play), Linney’s GOODBYE OSCAR, David Mamet’s THE FROG PRINCE, and Murray Schisgal’s PUSHCART PEDDLERS and EXISTENCE). Ensemble Studio Theatre has produced many of Maloney’s plays, including ACCIDENT, MY FATHER’S FUNERAL, ACCORDIAN DREAMS, and KOLOSSAL HERO!

Maloney’s work on Broadway includes: John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar (Drama Desk nomination, Richard Seff Award), Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie with Ben Gazzara, Pavel Kohout’s Poor Murderer with Maria Schell, Judgment at Nuremberg with Maximillian Schell, and Arthur Laurent’s production of West Side Story. He has acted in 60 movies, including: The Crucible, Boiler Room, Requiem for a Dream, JFK, Washington Square, Extreme Meaures, K-Pax, and John Carpenter’s The Thing. His TV credits include: Steven Soderbergh’s “The Knick,” “Gotham,” “Crashing,” “Law & Order” (all franchises), and ‘Uncle Red’ on “Rescue Me.”

Maloney’s plays are published by Samuel French, Inc. His adaptation of Machiavelli’s “Mandragola” is published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. “Leash” and “Witness,” parts of his “Abu Ghraib Triptych,” are both published in Best American Short Plays, and “Leash” was published in Joyce Carol Oates’ Ontario Quarterly. The Eugene O’Neill Review published his memoir “Who Does Little but Listens,” a chronicle of his year on the road and on Broadway in O’Neill’s Hughie. He is a member of the Actors Studio and an alumnus of New Dramatists.

Mentioned in Interview

Joseph Chaikin, Lou Reed, Uta Hagen, Arthur Penn, Jordan Charney, Lee Worley, Jerzy Grotowski, Jean-Claude van Itallie, Michelangelo Antonioni, Eugène Ionesco, Tom Stoppard, Harold Clurman, Joseph Papp, Cheryl Crawford, Kristin Griffith, Ellen Sandler, The Open Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, Irish Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience, NYSF/The Public, Signature Theatre, New Dramatists