The Edge of the Universe Theater to present Harold Pinter’s ‘The Caretaker’

The company's first show since its 2022 Capital Fringe production of Caryl Churchill's 'A Number' opens September 29 at the Writer's Center in Bethesda.

The Edge of the Universe Theater follows up its 2022 Capital Fringe production of Caryl Churchill’s A Number with a work by another British playwright, Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter’s THE CARETAKER. The production of this “important work of theatrical art” (New York Post) features David Bryan Jackson, Max Johnson, and Mark Krawczyk under the direction of Stephen Jarrett.

Synopsis: “It’s funny — til it’s not.” First staged in London, 1960, Pinter’s first success still has the power to surprise, entertain, and unsettle audiences. Soon after a pair of working-class brothers allow a boastful vagabond to temporarily stay in their decrepit London house, they’ve each separately offered the man a job as caretaker. Trapped in their own individual worlds of dreams and delusions — they’re soon at odds as kindness and loyalties give way to cruelties unleashed and lies exposed in this bitingly funny psychological exploration of life’s menace and absurdity.

‘The Caretaker’ show art by

“…powerful drama with a climax that tears at the heart.” —The New York Times

It’s an incisive, delicately balanced study of a power struggle between three lost souls who are drowning in absurd fantasies.” —Evening Standard

“This remarkable play is not one that leaps off the page. It’s difficult to read; many people find it challenging. The fact, though, is that it teems with life, and offers innumerable ‘moments’ in which a character — or the audience — realizes a truth. They are moments of connection, heart-stopping for actor, character, and audience,” said director Stephen Jarrett. “The director’s challenge is to find and examine these moments, shepherding a cast of skilled, insightful actors through a rollercoaster of emotions to make it all true enough to effect a change in the viewer, to provoke a feeling of ‘yes, this is me.’ And all of this with language that might as well be poetry.”


Harold Pinter (1930-2008). After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Central School of Speech and Drama, he worked as an actor under the stage name David Baron. Following his success as a playwright, he continued to act under his own name, on stage and screen, the last time in 2006 in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape at the Royal Court Theatre. He wrote 29 plays, including The Birthday Party, The Dumb Waiter, A Slight Ache, The Hothouse, The Caretaker, The Collection, The Lover, The Homecoming, Old Times, No Man’s Land, Betrayal, A Kind of Alaska, One for the Road, The New World Order, Moonlight and Ashes to Ashes. Sketches include “The Black and White,” “Request Stop,” “That’s Your Trouble,” “Night,” “Precisely,” “Apart from That,” and the recently rediscovered “Umbrellas.”

He directed 27 theater productions, including James Joyce’s Exiles, David Mamet’s Oleanna, seven plays by Simon Gray, and many of his own plays, including his last, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room, at The Almeida Theatre, London in the spring of 2000. Pinter wrote 21 screenplays, including The Pumpkin Eater, The Servant, The Go-Between, The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Sleuth. In 2005 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Other awards include the Companion of Honour for Services to Literature, the Legion D’Honneur, the European Theatre Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D’Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. Harold Pinter was awarded 18 honorary degrees.


Stephen Jarrett (Director) has worked previously with The Edge of the Universe Theater, most recently directing the 2022 Capital Fringe production of A Number, as well as Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Summoning of Everyman, and audio plays The Marriage Proposal and Laughter in the Shadow of the Trees. David Bryan Jackson’s* (Davies) decades of work in the DC region include working with Jarrett previously on A Number and Entertaining Mr Sloane with Edge of the Universe. Most recently, he performed in Endgame (Washington Stage Guild), Birds of North America (Mosaic Theater Company of DC), with other productions including Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company), The Two Character Play (Spooky Action Theater) and Someone is Going to Come (Scena Theatre). Max Johnson (Mick) is a DC-based actor, teaching artist, electrician, and deviser. His recent theater credits include Angel Number Nine (Rorschach Theatre), Mankind (Iron Crow Theatre), Spies 2 (Imagination Stage), WVL Radio Presents: It’s a Wonderful Life (Immediate Theatre Project), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and A Raisin in the Sun (Olney Theatre’s National Players Tour 72). He will be starring in the upcoming feature Questions by Outlaw Dawn Productions in Winter 2023. Mark Krawczyk* (Aston) is an innovative and purpose-driven theater practitioner with over 20 years of experience in professional acting, devising, arts management, directing, and teaching. He has worked with Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre, Folger Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, The Hub Theatre of Boston, Constellation Theatre, Taffety Punk, Theater J, and others. He’s had the privilege of teaching acting and other theater classes at a variety of institutions around the U.S. including Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he was a member of the leadership team for the Contemporary Theatre program. Mark’s next projects will be creating a new, original piece of solo theater as part of The Incubator Residency with Barking Legs Theatre in Chattanooga, as well as directing Scrooge: The Musical at Chattanooga Theatre Centre in December 2023. For many years, Naomi Robin (Casting) was a professional stage actress across the U.S. and Canada with such actors as Theodore Bikel, Robert Merrill, and Jan Peerce, later combining that with a second career as a SAG/AFTRA voiceover artist. She worked as Casting Director at Theater J, and also served for many years as a judge with the Helen Hayes Awards. Most recently she has focused on freelance casting, including for The Edge of the Universe Theater.

The production and design team includes Sarah Reed (Scenic Designer), David Elias* (Stage Manager), Lauren K. Lambie+ (Costume Designer), Christina Giles (Lighting Designer), David Bryan Jackson (Sound Designer), Liz Long (Properties Designer), Naomi Robin (Casting Director).

*Member, Actors’ Equity Association
+Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829

THE CARETAKER is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.


THE CARETAKER runs September 29 to October 22, 2023, at The Writer’s Center (4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD), with performances Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2:30 pm & 8 pm, and Sunday at 2:30 pm. The run begins with three pay-what-you-can performances Friday, September 29 at 8 pm, and Saturday, September 30 at 2:30 pm & 8 pm (pay-what-you-can tickets can be purchased for any cash price at the door beginning one hour prior to curtain). Opening/press performances are Saturday, September 30 at 8 pm and Sunday, October 1 at 2:30 pm.

All tickets are general admission and are $25. Additionally there will be a limited number of $20 discounted tickets offered as part of Theatre Week (September 21 to October 8), a program of Theatre Washington. Discounts for students with a valid student ID and senior citizens 65 years and up for the first weekend only. Purchase tickets at the door or online.


Formerly known as The Edge of the Universe Players 2, The Edge of the Universe Theater’s intention is to produce plays with big meanings that transcend particular ages and cultures. The company hopes that cultural influences, including theater, can change some part of the human family—or even one person—toward a more bearable, insightful, hopeful, or self-determining state. The subjects of The Edge of the Universe Theater’s plays may include individual liberty, family, power, religion, death, or other fundamental issues of human existence.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here