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On Beckett

 



Tony winner Bill Irwin draws on his experience as a clown and actor to explore a performer’s relationship to Beckett, referencing such well-known works as "Waiting for Godot," "Endgame," and "Texts for Nothing."

From the producers: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,” “Endgame,” and “Texts for Nothing” – 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.

Bill Irwin began his career as a vaudeville-style stage performer and has been noted for his contribution to the renaissance of American circus during the 1970s. He has also made a number of appearances on film and television, and he won a Tony Award for his role in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" on Broadway. He is also known as Mr. Noodle on the "Sesame Street" spinoff "Elmo's World." He is a cast regular on the FX series "Legion" and regularly appears as a therapist on "Law and Order: SVU." Irwin has created several highly regarded stage shows that incorporate elements of clowning, including "The Regard of Flight," "Largely New York," "Fool Moon," The Harlequin Studies," and "Mr. Fox: A Rumination." His show "Old Hats" won the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue.

"On Beckett" was originally developed at the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in San Francisco and produced at the Strand Theater in January 2017. Actor and eighth grade student Finn O’Sullivan joins Mr. Irwin in the production.

What is the Irish Rep? Occasionally, a group of artists finds a large room somewhere in the city, and settles down there for a decade or so to stage the plays that they like, in the manner that they enjoy making them. That's the case here. Though it's one of the smaller shops among the long-running Off-Broadway companies, these folks have been staging Irish drama in these rooms for 25 years, and the enjoyment can be infectious. More here.

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