beckett

Heather Pickering, Chelsea Anderson and Shannon Davis star in ‘Come and Go,’ part of ‘I Can’t Go On. I’ll Go On.'[/media-credit]

Samuel Beckett is considered to be the playwright of momentary consciousness, expressing emotional attitudes and then letting the audience take what it can from them.  He is also considered to be one of the most famous absurdist playwrights, and University Theater will perform six of his short plays starting Saturday and directed by Patricia Boyette.

Boyette was awarded best actress for her performances in “THE BECKETT PROJECT” when she performed it at The Grove Theatre in the greater Los Angeles area in 2000.  She also performed Beckett in Cork, Ireland in 2003 and toured the U.S. in 2006 and 2008.

Now Boyette, professor of theater at the University of Wisconsin, is bringing her experience to students and directing six seldom performed Beckett plays in three different spaces at UW starting Oct. 18 and running until Nov. 3.  The performance, “I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On,” by the Nobel prize-winning playwright Samuel Beckett will occupy the Hemsley and Mitchell theaters as well as the Scene Shop.  

Performing will be eleven graduate students from the newly formed MFA program in acting and directing.  Nationwide auditions last spring yielded six men and five woman.

“Beckett thought plays were too long,”  Boyette stated. “The [Method acting] doesn’t really work with Beckett.”  All the pieces for this current show come from the early ’60s to 1989, the year of Beckett’s death.  This was the period when Beckett’s style was most minimalist.

In the first half of the performance will be “Ohio Impromptu,” “Play” and “Eh Joe.”  “Eh Joe” will include video sections of a man’s monologue.  “Catastrophe,” considered to be Beckett’s most political play, leads off the second half.  “Come and Go” is about three women and consists entirely of their conversation about life, marriage and death.  The last play to be performed, “Not I,” depicts a woman’s  hectic life.   

“I Can’t Go On.  I’ll Go On” runs through Nov. 3 at Vilas Hall Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee  Sunday, Nov. 28, at 2 p.m..  For tickets, phone 608-265-2787, visit Vilas or order online at utmadison.com.  Prices are $23; $16 for students and children.