Though he is best known for his screen roles, Ethan Hawke has steadily cultivated his stage credentials. The actor, who has a lengthy list of stage credits to his name, is currently starring in the title role of Chekhov'sIvanov" and earning critical acclaim for his performance.
"Ethan Hawke does a heroic job of being both appealing and insufferable as Ivanov, an educated, formerly successful man in his mid-30s," The Associated Press said in a review of the play.He mentally crashed and burned a year ago, and remains unable to understand or articulate his misery."
Hawke, who won praised from the theater community since the early 90's, has said he feels a personal connection to the melancholy Ivanov.
“When (director) Austin Pendleton called to say he wanted to direct me in 'Ivanov,' it felt like a date I’ve been waiting 20 years to have," Hawke said in a recent interview with Broadway.com.I’ve spent my life studying Chekhov, but it’s always been elusive to me. The role of Ivanov is insanely difficult, but I love it. This was Chekhov’s first full-length play, and it’s a young man’s play: unwieldy and out of control and angry and passionate. It’s the most insightful portrait of depression I’ve ever read in terms of its effect on this individual and his community."
Hawke made his Broadway debut in the 1992 production of Chekhov'sThe Seagull" and appeared in the off-Broadway production ofSophistry" the following year. In 2001, he performed off-Broadway inThe Late Henry Moses" before returning to the Great White Way for the in 2003 revival ofHenry IV." After taking on the role of Eddie in the 2005 off-Broadway production ofHurlyburly," Hawke appeared in the three part, Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's Russian-themedThe Coast of Utopia" in 2006.
The actor has said that that the latter role, which earned him a Tony nominatiom for Best Featured Actor, was his biggest onstage challenge yet.
“The marathons of 'The Coast of Utopia' were certainly the biggest challenge, because they started at 11:30 in the morning and went down at 11:30 at night," Hawke told Broadway.com.We were served two meals backstage. I’ve never done anything like that in my life, nor have many other people!"
The following year, the actor directed the off-Broadway playThings We Want," leading Adam Sternbergh of New York magazine to conclude,Hawke now finds himself at the center of a bright and enviable constellation of talent, living something pretty close to an ideal New York artist’s kind of life."
Last year, he appeared in The New Group's production ofBlood From a Stone" and according to BroadwayWorld, is set to collaborate with the company yet again when he stars in the title role of next year'sClive."
Theater isn't Hawke's only non-film pursuit. The actor has penned two novels, the 1997 coming of age storyThe Hottest State" and the 2004 romantic dramaAsh Wednesday." Both works earned somewhat favorable reviews.
In 2001, he made his feature film directing debut with the ensemble dramaChelsea Walls" and in 2006 helmed the screen version ofThe Hottest State."
In 2002, Hawke earned a Supporting Actor nomination for his role as a naive cop inTraining Day" and in 2006 received a nomination for his work on the screenplay forBefore Sunset," the sequel to Richard Linklater's 1996 romantic indieBefore Sunrise," both of which he starred in with Julie Delpy.
The actor recently starred in the low budget horror filmSinister" and will soon be seen inBefore Midnight," the second follow-up toBefore Sunrise."