A seminal playwright in the Off-Off-Broadway coffee-house theatre movement, Robert Heide’s plays have been produced in New York’s Greenwich Village at the famed Caffè Cino and in the East Village by Ellen Stewart at La Mama, by Crystal Field and George Bartenieff at Theater for the New City, by Irene Fornes and Julie Bovasso’s New York Theater Strategy at Westbeth, at Lynne Meadow’s Manhattan Theatre Club, and in many other venues. His early studies began in the theatre department at Northwestern University. In New York, he studied for two years with Stella Adler, who then sent him to apprentice with John Houseman at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, CT; he studied as well with Uta Hagen and with director Harold Clurman. His mentor and close friend, Edward Albee, invited him to become a member of the Albee/Barr/Wilder Playwrights Unit. In the 1960s, he acted in Andy Warhol’s films Camp and Dracula/ Batman, both with Jack Smith. Warhol filmed Heide’s Caffé Cino play, The Bed, as a split-screen movie which premiered at Jonas Mekas’s Film-Makers’ Cinematheque. As a member of the PDU — Playwrights/Directors Unit — at the Actors Studio, he attended sessions conducted by Estelle Parsons, Ellyn Burstyn, and Horton Foote.
Robert Heide’s 25 collected plays are augmented by his screenplay for Andy Warhol’s film Lupe starring Edie Sedgwick, original production photos, and his affectionate commentary on memorable artists he has worked with and the rich cultural context of the plays’ turbulent time, from the 1960s to the present.
“Two of the best plays I saw at the Caffè Cino were Robert Heide’s Moon and The Bed. — Edward Albee
“The Bed is beautiful emptiness. A work of genius.” — Andy Warhol
“Brilliant! Tongue-in-cheek Chekhov. Tongue-in-cheek Nietzsche.” — H. M. Koutoukas