Ms. Clarke begin her career in acting with this play:

The Music Man

by Meredith Willson
The Edgeworth Club, Sewickley, PA
c. 1968.
Ms. Clarke as Marian the Librarian.

A con man blows into town with a scam to set up a boy's marching band. He plans to slip away with the funds before the town discovers his lack of talent. In fact he falls in love with a librarian, whom he tries to keep from exposing him; and he imbues the town with a love of music despite himself.

This is Ms. Clarke's first performance of any kind.

Ms. Clarke's professional stage career began in the mid-1970's with roles in Mt. Holyoke summer-stock and Pittsburgh local theater. In particular, she was part of the Pittsburgh Public Theatre's very successful first season in 1975-76.

Then Ms. Clarke enrolled at the Yale School of Drama. In her third year she was admitted into the Yale Repertory Theater under Robert Brustein during its troubled 1978-79 season. While there she worked in such plays as:

Tales from the Vienna Woods

by Oden von Horvath
Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT.
Starting September 29, 1978.
26 performances.
Ms. Clarke (as Catherine Clarke) as Marianne, replacing Carol Kane.

Mistaken Identities: 'Dentity Crisis

by Cristopher Durang
Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT.
Starting October 13, 1978.
20 performances.
Ms. Clarke (as Catherine Clarke) as Jane.

The Peter Pan monologue in the play (about a childrens' play that had gone very, very wrong) has become a favorite among high school theater students.

Ms. Clarke also appeared in Anton Chekhov's The Sea Gull and a chamber version of Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht's Mahagonny.

Ms. Clarke became a professional actress when she joined Actors Equity, for which she had to change her name to Caitlin Clarke. (There was already a Catherine Clarke in Equity.)



by William Shakespeare
Delacorte Theatre, New York City.
June 27 - August 26, 1979.
25 performances
Ms. Clarke as understudy to Francis Conroy, who played Desdemona.
the late Raul Julia as Othello
Richard Dreyfus as Iago.

Othello is about a Moor in the wealthy city of Venice who kills his wife Desdemona after being convinced of her unfaithfulness by the lies of a jealous Iago.

The Winter's Tale

by William Shakespeare
Arena Theatre, Washington, DC.
October 5 - November 11, 1979.
39 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Perdita.

If this is classed as a comedy it is because it ends joyfully, but it starts in tragedy as a king abandons his infant daughter, believing her illegitimate. Years later the daughter is Perdita, a beautiful shepherdess ignorant of her heritage — but not for long.

Dreck/Vile: The Opera Bert and Kurt Never Wrote

by Steve Lawson (book) and Gary Fagin (music)
Chelsea Encore Cabaret, New York City.
December 1979.
Four performances
Ms. Clarke as Alotta.

A satire on the collaboration of playwright Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, who flourished during the early 20th century, with Ms. Clarke spoofing Lotte Lenya. Weill wrote the song Mack the Knight, best remembered as sung by Louis Armstrong.


by Richard Nelson
Goodman Theatre, Chicago.
February 27 - April, 1980.
39 performances
Ms. Clarke as Sophia.
Jim Belushi as Bal.

A rewrite of the Bertolt Brecht play Baal. Bal is a thoroughly amoral creature who destroys the lives of those who come too close to him.



by David Hare
Goodman Theatre, Chicago.
March 5 - May, 1981.
35 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Susan Traherne.

The plenty of the title was the economic prosperity that was promised the youth of Britain after the Second World War, during which Susan Traherne was a British agent helping the French resistance. After it ended, however, the Britain that emerged was a bitter disappointment to her: Minimal prosperity and spiritual exhaustion at home, duplicity and humiliation abroad. The deterioration of her life mirrors that of her homeland.

No End of Blame

by Howard Baker
Manhatten Theatre Club, New York City.
December 15, 1981 - February 24, 1982.
48 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Ilona, secretary.

Most of the cast in this play, about a political cartoonist on the road to disillusionment, played more than one role.

Summer Vacation Madness

by Carlo Goldoni
Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
June 5 - November 21, 1982.
Ms. Clarke's role is unknown.

This play (written in 1761, despite its modern-sounding title) and the following ran in rotation with six other plays under Liviu Ciulei.

The Marriage of Figaro

by Beaumarchais
Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
June 5 - November 21, 1982.
Ms. Clarke as Cherubino.

This play was adapted by Richard Nelson, directed by Andrei Serban, and had Ms. Clarke doing the love-struck lad on roller skates. They and the play would reappear on Broadway three years later.


by Edward Bond
Manhatten Theatre Club, New York City.
January 25 - March 6, 1983.
48 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Ann.
David [Hyde] Pierce as David

A well-to-do emigrée and her daughter (Ann) spend their summer vacations at a Balkan seaside resort, which was the emigrée's home before she fled from a Communist takeover.

David Hyde Pierce, later famous as Dr. Niles Crane on the TV series Fraiser, played the bathing-suited son of the resort's manager. Theatre critic Frank Rich broiled the play, and Pierce in particular for tending to mumble his key lines into Miss Clarke's breasts.

Teaneck Tanzi: The Venus Flytrap

by Claire Luckham
Nederlander Theatre, New York City.
April 20, 1983
Two performances
Ms. Clarke as Tanzi (matinee performance).
Deborah Harry as Tanzi (evening performance);
the late Andy Kaufmann (Taxi) as the Ref.

This was a feminist message-play that came out of London and played well in most other cities of the world. It was a major turkey on Broadway, where its one-day performance left critics wanting to flee the theatre at intermission. It's a pity, that this was the play in which Ms. Clarke made her Broadway debut. (Ms. Clarke herself gave overproduction as the reason the play did so badly.)


by Alfred De Musset
Double Image Theatre, New York City.
June 8 - July 2, 1983.
18 performances.
Ms. Clarke as the Marquise de Cibo.

This play, based on the life of Lorenzo de Medici, fared somewhat better than Ms. Clarke's previous play. It played for about a month, and several times to full houses. Yet no archived review seems to have survived, except a very negative one in BackStage (1 July 1983, p. 43).

Quartermaine's Terms

by Simon Gray
Playhouse 91, New York City.
February 24, 1983 - January 4, 1984.
Ms. Clarke as Anita Manchip.
Kelsey Grammer (Frazier) as Mark Sackling,
Dana Ivey as Melanie Garth.

Ms. Clarke replaced the original actress during the summer of 1983.

Not Quite Jerusalem

by Paul Kemper
Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut.
October 25, 1983 - January 14, 1984.
88 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Gila.

A pair of disillusioned Englishmen try to find a purpose in life by spending the summer at an Israeli kibbutz.

Thin Ice

by Jeffery Haddow
WPA Theatre, New York City.
March 15 - April, 1984.
25 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Jo.

Ms. Clarke plays the female half of a New York couple on the edge of divorce, whose friends are egging them on.

The Seagull

by Anton Chekov
Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Late spring 1984.
?? performances
Ms. Clarke's role is unknown.

This is mentioned among the credits in Ms. Clarke's biography at the Titanic site. She was joined by David Hyde Pierce (Frazier), who played Treplev. This is conjecture, though.

As You Like It

by William Shakespeare
La Jolla Playhouse (Mandell Weiss Theatre), San Diego, California
August 21 - September 15, 1984
?? performances.
Ms. Clarke as Rosalind.
John Goodman as Charles the wrestler and Hymen the spirit of marriage.

A comedy of love and exile in the Forest of Arden, into which Rosalind, Shakespeare's greatest female role, goes in the guise of a boy to join her exiled father only to find poems that read, among others:

From the east to western Ind,
No jewel is like Rosalind.

This may well be when Ms. Clarke first met her friend John Goodman, before he found fame as the TV husband of Rosanne Barr.

Total Eclipse

by Christopher Hampton
Westside Arts Theater, New York City.
December 12 - 16, 1984.
Five performances.
Ms. Clarke as Isabelle Rimbaud.
Michael Cerveris as Arthur Rimbaud.

The brief and incendiary life of 19th-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud, whose life and works has given inspiration to modern rock music.

Strange Interlude

by Eugene O'Neill
Nederlander Theatre, New York City.
February 21 - May 5, 1985.
63 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Madeleine Arnold.
Glenda Jackson as Nina Leeds.

A deeply disturbed woman descends into the Dark, taking several suitors with her.

There was a film version of this play made not long afterward and shown on PBS. Most of the original cast performed in the film, but not Ms. Clarke (foo!).

Arms and the Man

by George Bernard Shaw
Circle In The Square Theater, New York City.
May 30 - September 1, 1985.
109 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Louka.
the late Raul Julia as Major Sarnaoff;
Kevin Kline as Captain Bluntschli (later replaced by director John Malkovich);
Glenne Headly as Raina Petkoff.

Shaw's satirical comedy on militarism and patriotism.

The Marriage of Figaro

by Beaumarchais
Circle In The Square Theater, New York City.
October 10 - December 15, 1985.
77 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Cherubino.
the late Christopher Reeve as Count Almaviva;
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Suzanne;
Dana Ivey as Countess Almaviva.

This is the Guthrie Theatre production adapted by Richard Nelson and directed by Andrei Serban. Among the play's innovations was Ms. Clarke's Cherubino on roller skates.

Slaves of New York

by Tama Janowitz
Chartwell Booksellers, New York City
Sometime in 1986
CC as Reader

This was in fact a reading of the short stories of Janowitz, done just after publication.

Black Comedy

by Peter Shaffer
Santa Fe Playhouse/Lensic Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Sometime in the late 1980's
CC as Carol/Miss Funerval/Clea

A hapless sculptor and his hangers-on bump into furniture and into each other on a stage that darkens when they try to illuminate it and brightens when they do nothing. The stage begins in total darkness; and when an electrician flips a switch to bring back the light, it ends in total darkness.

Our Country's Good

by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles.
September 13 - ?, 1989.
Ms. Clarke as Liz Morden (actress)/Lt. Dawes (role).

Based on the novel The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally about the first stage play in Australia.

Note: Ms. Clarke also took over the Morden/Dawes role during the play's run at the Garrick Theatre in London in 1989. (I am grateful to British actor Julian Wadham for revealing this in his web page—which for awhile seemed to be everywhere on the Web.)

For her role as Morden/Dawes, Ms. Clarke was given the Drama-Logue Award for Exceptional Achievement in 1989.


The Queen and the Rebels

by Ugo Betti
Center Stage, Baltimore, Maryland.
October ?? - December 1, 1991.
?? performances.
Ms. Clarke as Argia.

During a revolution in a nameless country, rebels hunt for the ex-dictator's wife, the "Queen". Ms. Clarke plays Argia, an embittered prostitute who is mistaken for that Queen. Although amused at first, Argia finds herself under the harsh circumstances becoming a noble creature—a Queen in her own right.

Misha's Party

by Richard Nelson and Alexander Gelman
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Reading Road Readings.
March 8, 1993.
One performance.
Ms. Clarke's role is unknown.

Three Birds Alighting on a Field

by Timerlake Wertenbaker
Manhatten Theater Club, New York City.
January 25 - March 27, 1994.
72 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Alex Brendel and Marianne Ryle.

A satire of London's art world.

Tree Of Life

by Stephen Lang
Nuyorican Poets Cafe, New York City.
May 24, 1994.
1 performance.
Ms. Clarke as Ma Cooper.

The ugly mass psychology of an early Ohio settlement as seen by Johnny Appleseed (so named because he planted apple trees along early American routes of settlement) and ex-preacher Thomas Keene (who distilled those apples in hard cider). Read as part of the 'FifthNight' screenplay reading series.

Unexpected Tenderness

by Israel Horovitz
WPA Theater, New York City.
October 16 - November 6, 1994.
32 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Molly Stern.

The pain of a family that must endure the psychotic jealousy of the father.


by William Shakespeare
Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Winter 1995.
Ms. Clarke as Lady MacBeth.

Or rather she would have been, but Ms. Clarke pulled out of the production before the previews after amiable but irreconcilable differences with director Kristoffer Tabori. This entry was added for completeness.

Mrs. Warren's Profession

by George Bernard Shaw
Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT.
February 3, 1996.
One performance.
Ms. Clarke as Mrs. Warren.

A well-to-do woman achieves personal and financial independence as a upper-class prostitute. A discussion of the play followed the performance.


by Jean Cocteau
Dallas Theatre Center, Dallas, TX.
January 14 - February 2, 1997
21 performances
Ms. Clarke as Yvonne, the mother.

Americanized translation of Cocteau's Les Parents Terribles, about a very nasty mother and absent-minded father who interfere in their spoilt son's love affair.

The Glass Menagerie

by Tennessee Williams
Portland Stage Company, Portland, ME
later 1997
?? performances
Ms. Clarke as Amanda.

It's another awful mother, now frustrated more than nasty: an aging Southern belle in a cramped apartment, who meddles in the lives of her son and fragile daughter.

Titanic: The Musical

by Peter Stone
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York
April 23, 1998 - March 28, 1999.
804 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Charlotte Cardoza.
Michael Cerveris as Thomas Andrews (the ship's architect)

It has been nearly twenty years since the discovery of the sunken luxury liner at the bottom of the Atlantic, yet the entertainment industry still finds inspiration from the ship. This play came out at roughly the same time as the film, and during its performance it had won five Tony awards.

Ms. Clarke has evidently played this part very well. Quoting a visitor to New York City attending the play's last Broadway show: Caitlin Clarke—I want to BE her. Or at least Charlotte Cardoza. What a fun part.

During the later half of the play's run, Ms. Clarke served as a "teaching artist" for the Broadway Theater Institute (now The Theater Museum), which provided theatre instruction for public school children under the auspices of New York University. The children, their parents and teachers attended a performance of Titanic on 31 January 1999.

The Airport Play

by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros
Herbert Berghet Playwrights Theater
June, 1999
?? performances
Ms. Clarke as Anne (Woman).

A random conversation between a man and a woman, who connect while waiting for a flight.

A Girl's Life

by Kathleen Tolan
Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua Lake, New York
July 10-17, 1999
Six performances
Ms. Clarke's role is unknown.

'[B]ased on an examination of a girl's life', according to a summary of a Buffalo News theatre review. I know little else about this.


by Eric Bogosian
Center Stage, Baltimore, Maryland
November 18-December 19, 1999
?? performances
Ms. Clarke as Michelle.

A product of the 1960's counterculture reaches age fifty as an affluent suburbanite, and at his birthday barbecue hits his mid-life crisis hard.


by Mary Sieward Scruggs
March 7, 2000
West Bank Café, New York
1 performance
Ms. Clarke's role is unknown.

One of a series of first readings for March 2000, "about a girl, a guy, and reincarnation".

Aunt Pieces

by Rosemary Moore
May 10-19, 2000
The Cherry Lane Alternative, New York
10? performances
Ms. Clarke's role is unknown.

The Cherry Lane Alternative "is dedicated to the development of the American theatre artist through a growing variety of programs and services" since its founding in 1997. Ms. Clarke is a member artist of this organization. There is nothing on what Ms. Moore's play itself was about, I'm afraid.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

by Edward Albee
Geva Theatre, Rochester, New York
October 10-November 12, 2000
?? performances
Ms. Clarke as Martha.

"On a quiet New England college campus, an embittered professor and his domineering wife turn an evening of cocktails into a wicked game." And they proceed to torment each other and the young couple they invited for the evening. Ms. Clarke played the professor's wife.

This play was made famous when it was filmed with Elizabeth Taylor and the late Richard Burton as the venomous couple.


Charlotte: Life? Or Theater?

by Elise Thoron (book) and Gary Fagin (music)
Prince Music Theater, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
February 24-March 18, 2001
13 performances
Ms. Clarke as A Woman.

A musical about a young Jewish woman hiding from the Nazis in southern France, who experiences an incandescent burst of artistic and musical talent as she expresses herself in the final years of her life. Eight hundred of her paintings, complete with narrative and musical cues, survive her, and this play is based on them.

The Gigli Concert

by Tom Murphy
Lester Hamburg Studio Theatre, Pittsburgh
May 30-June 15, 2002
13 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Mona.

A "dynamatologist" who helps people achieve even their most impossible dreams helps a melancholy Irishman to sing like Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli. Ms. Clarke played the dynamatologist's mistress and muse.

This was part of the 2002 season of the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre (as was the next entry).

Why "dynamatologist"? Probably because its root word, dynamis, is the most common word for "miracle" in the New Testament.


by Brian Friel
City Theatre Main Stage, Pittsburgh
August 8-24, 2002
15 performances.
Ms. Clarke as Judith.
Joe Schutz as Casmir.

A wealthy but decaying Irish family is in turmoil over the coming wedding of the youngest sister and a visit by a nosy American academic. Ms. Clarke plays the eldest daughter, the de facto family head who cares for the senile patriarch and his mute brother.

One of the actors on Aristocrats, Joe Schutz, keeps an online journal, which describes his experiences with the play in several entries during July and August 2002. It's a joy to know that I am not the only one who is a 'fawning idiot' over Ms. Clarke! :)

An Evening Cabaret

The Edgeworth Club, Sewickley, PA
February 15, 2004
1 performance.
Ms. Clarke as herself.

Ms. Clarke speaks and sings about her life in the entertainment industry—an difficult and mostly unglamorous, yet rewarding life.

The cabaret was given as a benefit for the Women's Club of Sewickley.

This would be Ms. Clarke's last performance.


Most of my information on Ms. Clarke's career on stage is based on the reviews for the plays she had a role in (primarily The New York Times) and on the two book series Guernsey's Best Plays and Willis' Theater World.

Of Indiana's big three universities, only Indiana University has both series. The other two — Purdue and Ball State — never had them or stopped buying them. The public library in Indianapolis has only Guernsey.

This lack of ready theatre references was why, until the 1990's and the coming of the World Wide Web, the entries were so sketchy. Another reason was Ms. Clarke's branching into television during her time in Los Angeles during the late 1980's. Most of the television shows she appeared in are on network television — which I do not normally watch.

The Web and its search engines have really made my work a lot easier now. Google and (at first) Northern Light have been very helpful in finding for me articles about Ms. Clarke's performances from regional theatres.

Note (15 September 2004): I felt it appropriate to bookend this list of Ms. Clarke's theatrical career with her two performances at the Edgeworth Club of Sewickley.

Note (25 February 2005): After reading Brustein's Making Scenes (ISBN 0879100028) I can conclude that Ms. Clarke must have proven an excellent actress to have done well during her stint at Yale Rep despite the hostile miasma during Brustein's last year — a year marked by struggle with the university's traditionalist president, who saw no value in Yale Rep and sought to undo all of Brustein's work. (At least, that was how Brustein saw it.) In the end, Brustein replanted his theatre at Harvard, and Ms. Clarke got out with her MFA.

Note (28 March 2005): A correspondence with a former colleague of Ms. Clarke's revealed a play not with Ms. Clarke but about her. I have written more about the play's history in this essay.

One Slight Hitch

by Lewis Black

West Bank Café, New York
February 14, 2000
1 performance
With Michael Gross, Judith Ivey, and Cynthia Nixon

Falcon Theatre, Burbank, CA
February 14 - March 13, 2004
17 performances
Sherri Parker Lee as Courtney Coleman (Ms. Clarke)

Lewis Black of The Daily Show started his career as a playwright during the late 1970's at Yale School of Drama. He was also Ms. Clarke's boyfriend for three years until she went to England in 1980 to film Dragonslayer — and came back with a fiancé.

Black, as you can read in an article in LA Weekly, was understandably furious. Then he contemplated what would happen if he showed up at the wedding. And out came this play.

Although the play shows Caitlin/Courtney in a less than flattering light, it gives a glowing portrait of her parents, with whom Black got along very well. At least that's what the reviews of the L.A. production (all negative) report. I would like to confirm this by reading the book, but the play is currently unavailable; indeed, as one of his fans sadly notes, The Holy Grail may be easier to find than a script by Lewis Black.

The play started life under the title Hitchin', where it got a couple of readings in the Washington-Baltimore area in 1982 before being staged at Kenyon College in 1983.