On BeckettDates and tickets
Two River Theater is proud to present Tony Award-winning actor and master clown Bill Irwin in his one-man show On Beckett.
Bill Irwin can’t escape Samuel Beckett. He has spent a lifetime captivated by the Irish writer’s language. In this intimate 90-minute evening, Irwin will explore a performer’s relationship to Beckett, mining the physical and verbal skills acquired in his years as a master clown and Tony Award-winning actor. Irwin’s approach to the comic, the tragic, to every side of Beckett’s work – including Waiting for Godot, Texts for Nothing, and more – will allow audiences to experience the language in compelling new ways. Whether you’re encountering the Nobel Prize winner’s writing for the first time, or building on a body of Beckett knowledge, this dynamic showcase is not to be missed.
On Beckett is produced by Octopus Theatricals and premiered at Irish Repertory Theatre in New York City on October 3, 2018.
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Bill Irwin (Creator, Director, Performer)
Bill Irwin is a Tony Award winning actor, director, writer, and clown. Original works include The Regard of Flight; Largely New York (Four Tony Nominations); Fool Moon; Old Hats, The Happiness Lecture; and others. He has played in many Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional stage productions, including, ON BECKETT, an evening of passages from Samuel Beckett’s work at Irish Repertory Theatre, The Iceman Cometh, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play), The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?; Waiting For Godot (2009 for a Drama Desk Award nomination); Endgame; The Tempest; Texts for Nothing; Garden of Earthly Delights; Accidental Death of An Anarchist; Showboat – and the Tony Award winning Fool Moon, which he created with David Shiner.
On television, Irwin appears as Mr. Noodle of “Elmo’s World” and Carey Loudermilk of “LEGION”. The Regard of Flight (PBS) with Doug Skinner, Michael O’Connor, and Nancy Harrington. Film credits include “Rachel Getting Married”, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, “Eight Men Out”, “Interstellar”, “Stepping Out”, “Unsilent”, and more.
Irwin was an original member of Kraken, a theatre company directed by Herbert Blau, and was also an original member of the Pickle Family Circus of San Francisco with Larry Pisoni and Geoff Hoyle. Irwin is the grateful recipient of MacArthur, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships.
SAMUEL BECKETT (1906 – 1989, NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE 1969)
Born in Dublin in 1906, Samuel Beckett was educated at Portora, Enniskillen and at Trinity College Dublin. He spent most of his life in France and died in Paris in 1989. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 and the citation stressed the comfort he had given through his work to those who occupy the lowest and most despised strata of society, while his whole life radiated kindness, compassion and the need to help others. It is impossible to underestimate his importance as a writer, playwright and thinker. His 1953 play En Attendant Godot (Waiting For Godot) had a profound influence on 20th Century drama and theatre practice and his later plays such as Not I, Rockaby and Footfalls can be said to have influenced visual artists, photographers and filmmakers.
Beckett’s short stories, novels and the later prose fragments, what he considered ‘the important work’ have had a similar impact on literature even if many of the works remain relatively unknown by the general reading public, those readers who discover his prose find a rich gift that keeps on giving. His trilogy of novels Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable stand among the very greatest works of literary achievement and his last full-length novel, How It Is, is at once a masterpiece of structure and form and a clarion call to writers and artists everywhere to push the boundaries of what is possible in their work.
Octopus Theatricals (Producer) Founded by Tony® and Grammy® winning producer Mara Isaacs, Octopus Theatricals collaborates with artists and organizations to foster an expansive range of compelling theatrical works for local and global audiences. Current projects include: Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell (Broadway, 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical; Grammy Award, Best Musical Theater Album); Patrick Page’s All The Devils are Here (off-Broadway); Goddess created by Saheem Ali, Jocelyn Bioh and Michael Thurber; Bhangra Nation by Rehana Lew Mirza, MIke Lew and Sam Willlmott; Dreaming Zenzile by Somi Kakoma; (…Iphigenia), a new opera by Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding; In The Same Tongue created by choreographer Dianne McIntyre with music by Diedre Murray; Social! Dance Club conceived by Steven Hoggett, Christine Jones & David Byrne; And So We Walked by DeLanna Studi; Theatre for One (in person and virtual) and many more. Octopus Theatricals is also home to the Producer Hub, an online resource supporting independent producers in the experimental and performing arts sectors. Octopustheatricals.com
Regional theatre: On Beckett, Without Walls (Center Theatre Group) Tiny House, Doubt (Westport Country Playhouse), A Comedy of Tenors, (Outer Critics Circle Award) (Cleveland Playhouse / McCarter Theatre), Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike (The Goodman Theatre), The Marriage of Figaro (The McCarter Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, (Two River Theatre),
NY theatre: The O’Casey Trilogy (Henry Hewes design award), The Shadow of a Gunman (Lucille Lortel award nomination) The Weir and The Quare Land (Origin, First Irish Award), The Emperor Jones (Henry Hewes design award nomination), (Irish Repertory Theatre), Billy and Ray (Vineyard Theatre), Exits And Entrances (Primary Stages).
Opera: Fidelio (Santa Fe Opera), The Bartered Bride, Cosi Fan Tutte (co-production Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard) Katya Kabanova, Don Giovanni, (Juilliard), L’Opera Seria (Wolftrap Opera) The Flood (Opera Columbus)
Television: Project Runway (Bravo), Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS,) The Equalizer (NBC Universal), Dickinson (Apple tv), Madam Secretary (CBS).
designed On Beckett at New York’s Irish Repertory Theatre and at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as for the filmed adaptation of the piece.
Broadway: Lysistrata Jones.
Off-Broadway: Storyville (York), Major Barbara (Pearl), Rated P for Parenthood (Westside Theatre), Signs of Life (AMAS), Spain (MCC), Election Day (Second Stage) and over 40 productions at the Irish Rep including The O’Casey Cycle (Henry Hewes Design Award nomination), Woody Sez, Shining City (with Matthew Broderick) and The Weir.
Regional: credits at Philadelphia Theatre Company, Goodspeed, The Hangar, The Old Globe, Trinity Rep and Long Wharf.
Opera: The Magic Flute (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington National Operas) with Richard Pilbrow. He has an Emmy Award and several other award nominations for his work in television, and designed the lighting for the SNL Digital Short “D**k in a Box,” among many others. Michael is a graduate of Vassar and The British & European Studies Group, London. mgld.com
M. Florian Staab
is a composer and sound designer based in Brooklyn, NY. Staab was born and raised in Germany and received a BA from Oberlin College and MFA from UIUC/Krannert Center. He is an associate artist with Sinking Ship Productions and the resident sound designer at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. His designs have been heard at the Public Theater, Irish Repertory Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, City Theatre Pittsburgh, Center Theatre Group, Mint Theater Company, Pearl Theatre Company, The Drama League, New Saloon, the cell, Partial Comfort, Keen Company, Chicago Opera Vanguard and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most recently Staab recorded and mixed several virtual productions and directed Bill Irwin’s On Beckett / In Screen for the camera. www.florianstaab.com
Tour Audio Supervisor
Luner Eclipse Productions
Luner Eclipse Productions
Recent credits: Geoff Sobelle’s Home, The Object Lesson and Elephant Room: Dust from the Stars (Center Theatre Group); Underground Railroad Game (Jennifer Kidwell, Scott R. Sheppard, Ars Nova, tour); Those with Two Clocks (A Tall Order), Ocean Filibuster and How to Build a Forest (PearlDamour/ART); Detroit Red (ArtsEmerson); Sleep (Ripe Time Theatre); Chimera and The Wholehearted (Stein | Holum Projects); This is Reading (Lynn Nottage, Kate Whoriskey); LA Dance Project (European tour); Jacuzzi (The Debate Society/Ars Nova); The Light Years (The Debate Society/NYSAF); Revolt. She said. Revolt Again and Winners and Losers (Soho Rep); Rememberer and Open House (Steven Reker); Eager to Lose (Ars Nova); Forbidden Creature Virgin Whore; From the Spot Where We/You/I Stand (Stood) (Miller Rothlein Dance); You, My Mother (Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf); Card and Gift and Baby Screams Miracle (Clubbed Thumb); The Seagull and Ivanov (Chekhov at Lake Lucille); The Room Sings, The Peripherals; Hot Lunch Apostles (Talking Band).
currently manages Sammy Miller and The Congregation and tours with HOME (BethMorrison Projects). Other credits: And So We Walked, Underground Railroad Game, Ballet Met, Tulsa Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Lucky Ones, KPOP, The Wildness: Sky Pony’s Rock Fairy Tale (Ars Nova), By the Water (MTC), Oh, Hello! (Cherry Lane Theatre), Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Ailey School, Scenes From A Marriage (NYTW), In Your Arms (NYSAF).
Tour Lighting Supervisor
Avery Reagan is a lighting designer currently based in the Los Angeles area. She is looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of the On Beckett team and travel the country throughout this tour. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Avery discovered her passion for lighting through school and community theatre productions. As she specified and matured her craft, she found how mesmerizing and impactful light can be within a production. Now she has designed and assisted from coast-to-coast with companies such as South Coast Repertory Theater, Great River Shakespeare Festival, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Opera, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
During those rare times when she is not working, Avery enjoys snowboarding, going to the movies, savoring a glass of good wine, and spending time with her friends. Most of all, she loves the creative and collaborative process that exists within her craft, and that special magic that often results.
CRITIC’S PICK! Captivating…radiant, living theater.
—THE NEW YORK TIMES
A delicious piece of theater… a playful, intimate experiment conducted by a master practitioner… utterly delightful.
—NEW YORK MAGAZINE
Masterful… Beckett’s words bloom not just with humor but with poignant emotion.
Near-90 minutes of pleasure… Irwin’s physical comedy is delicious… a brilliant gateway to understanding [Beckett].
—THE DAILY BEAST
An homage to [Beckett] that is both deeply personal and defiantly, even exuberantly accessible.
—NEW YORK STAGE REVIEW
…a better guide to playing Beckett would be hard to find. And when it comes to the clowning elements, a masterclass is in session.
—LOS ANGELES TIMES