Austin Pendleton has been in humbling situations before; after all, he played that “lump of clay” Motel, the tailor, in the original production of “Fiddler on the Roof back in 1964, and he’s been known to cross a Broadway stage naked. Now a new challenge arises: Under consideration at Circle Rep, one of Off Broadway’s most distinguished – and, currently, most financially and artistically strapped – companies, is the notion of offering Pendleton and the great actress Lynne Thigpen the post of co-artistic directors, a job recently vacated by Tanya Berezin. There have been many meetings over the last two months.
Pendleton, who recently hung out a shingle as a playwright (“Booth”), as well, concedes that while he regards himself first as an actor, the Circle Rep possibility intrigues him. “There is a real crisis right now for playwrights in America,” he said. “They feel despair. Circle Rep could handle that.”