Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
“So to return to this production was like falling back into a dream I’d had before. Then I realized I felt that way the first time. That’s because these plays, like dreams, stir up dormant parts of your mind that you don’t acknowledge during the day. It even feels just right, if uncomfortable, that we are asked to sit in silence between the plays, listening to the wind in the darkness. (David McSeveney is the sound designer, and the unearthly music is by Tom Smail.)”
If you mention Samuel Beckett amongst a room full of theatre students, artists, or audiences, you will probably get the same response. Everyone thinks of Waiting for Godot and having to read it in some Intro to Theatre course where the professor was really unprepared for the material ahead. No one thinks of current theatre, or cutting edge. And certainly no one thinks of women.
If you mention, a one-person show, you tend to gather the same response… this preconceived notion of what the material already is, without even covering an inch of it. A one-man show won the Tony this past season, but that was a man. What happens when you pass it off to a woman?
This “triple bill”, led by the brave Lisa Dwan, of Beckett’s has a running time of under an hour which I think helps its popularity and increases its popularity. Particularly considering the biggest criticism of Waiting for Godot is its length. It’s also been shown before, which may help it’s sometimes difficult base texts. Either way I think it’s a feat in itself.
It’s intriguing to see a female carrying a one-woman-show about such a dense topic by such a significant playwright.