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The Beckett Experience: Four Times/Times Four

    • Directed by Eric Prince
      December 6, 7, 7:30 p.m., December 8, 2 p.m., Studio Theatre, UCA
      Preview performance and pre-show lecture: December 5, 6:30 p.m.

      Samuel Beckett — Irish playwright, theatre director, novelist, and poet — is one of the most influential writers of the 20th century and transports his audience to a strange and mysterious world often located at the very brink of death, that “undiscovered country” for which his characters so often yearn. But his works are far from depressing. There is great beauty in the writing and a determination to stare mortality in the face. There is no better guide to the human spirit’s darker depths.

      On seeing these plays you may well leave feeling unexpectedly elated, although perhaps scary, a walk through the night can be invigorating. This event marks the culmination of many years of research and performance from CSU’s Center for Studies in Beckett and Performance, the only academic center world-wide devoted to the theatre of Samuel Beckett.
      • Come and Go: Three women, three old friends, sit on a bench. They gossip. They whisper. They come and go. They leave us a message. One of Beckett’s briefest and most cryptic plays.
      • Rockaby, featuring Wendy Ishii and directed by Laura Jones: An elderly woman rocks in a chair as a distant voice recalls her lifelong search for human contact. One of Beckett’s starkest minimalist works, a study in old age, isolation, and disengagement from life. Haunting and profoundly moving.
      • Dieppe (Quatre Poèmes): A dramatized evocation of one of Beckett’s most personal poems. A small premiere, or as they say in the circus, “something never attempted before.”
      • Play: One of Beckett’s most chilling yet darkly comic masterpieces. A man, his wife, and his mistress. Another eternal triangle. Eternity. All three are up to their necks in it. Another of Beckett’s plays in which actors are pushed to the very limits of what is possible. A mesmerizing experience.