Illustration by Johnny M.
Samuel Beckett was the recipient of the 1969 Nobel Prize in literature and is widely considered one of the 20th century’s greatest playwrights and novelists. Beckett’s other well-known works include Waiting for Godot and the novels Molloy, Murphy and Watt.
Endgame, written and first performed at the Royal Court Theatre in 1957, is considered by many to be his single greatest work. The title borrows from a term in the game of chess when there are moves yet to be played but the outcome of the game is inevitable. Beckett uses this as a metaphor for the motions we make at the oncoming of death. The play is, however, an extremely humorous and moving meditation on a part of life that is common to us all.
The play is directed by area veteran Gary Brame. who has over thirty years of experience with works in the theatrical avant-garde. The internationally renowned Beckett scholar S.E. Gontarski will be acting as dramaturg for the work. As a special bonus, IRT will be staging a revised text of Endgame that Beckett and Professor Gontarski worked on together, and it will be only the third time this revision has been performed in the world.
Professor Gontarski also will be doing a pre-curtain chat and a post-performance talkback with the audience, the director and the cast on Opening Night (Friday, Jan. 31) at the Goodwood and for the final matinee at Palaver Tree Theatre (Sunday, Feb. 9). Due to demand, IRT has added a Q&A with the Director and cast for ALL performances.
In addition to the Goodwood and Palaver Tree performances, there will be a VERY SPECIAL night in association with the Tallahassee Film Society. Professor Gontarski will present Beckett Short Films, four short films of Beckett’s work on Wednesday, January 29, and will be there to provide insight into the films. The short films are strange and wonderful, giving a further glimpse into the mind of one of the 20th century’s greatest thinkers. See below for the details.
But WAIT, there’s more! Tom Flanigan of WFSU Radio will be devoting the Perspectives show on January 23rd at 11 am to Endgame. His guests will be: Gary Brame, the director; S. E. Gontarski, the dramaturg; and, Jim McMurtry, IRT’s chair and playing the role of HAMM in the production. Tune in for a lively discussion about Beckett’s play. If you missed it, it is now available at https://news.wfsu.org/post/perspectives-samuel-beckett-s-endgame