Theater Emory celebrating Samuel Beckett's 90th birthday

The series of readings, film screenings and performances Theater Emory is sponsoring in observance of the 90th birthday of the late playwright Samuel Beckett is probably a little tame in comparison to the kind of celebration Beckett himself would have planned.

"If Beckett could plan his own birthday, he would sit at a sidewalk cafe in Paris, drink and talk about women and sports," said Theater Emory artist affiliate and lecturer Brenda Bynum, paraphrasing a comment made to the press by one of Beckett's old friends shortly after the writer's death. "It seems unthinkable not to celebrate his 90th birthday at Theater Emory, so we will try to commemorate it in a manner he would appreciate and enjoy."

Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Foxrock, near Dublin, Ireland. Just before World War II, he took up residence in France and lived there until he died on Dec. 23, 1989. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969.

The Beckett celebration began April 3 with two performances of a program featuring Beckett 90 and Footfalls, produced by T.H.E. THEATRE LTD. Beckett 90 was conceived by Bynum, a foremost interpreter of the work of Beckett and founder and co-director of T.H.E. THEATRE in Atlanta. Also participating in the program was research associate Marty Fehsenfeld, who works with The Beckett Correspondence project at Emory.

The celebration continues this week with "The Beckett Birthday Tribute," a program of readings in cooperation with the Friends of the Emory Libraries beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 12, in the Mary Gray Munroe Theater, Dobbs Center. The readings are free and open to the public.

A Beckett film festival is also scheduled to include:

Friday, April 12 (screenings in the Croker Room, third floor, Candler Library)

*"Waiting for Beckett: A Portrait of Samuel Beckett." 7:30-9 p.m.

*"Out takes from Waiting for Godot in San Quentin." 9-10 p.m.

Saturday, April 13 (screenings in 112 White Hall)

*Two productions of "Krapp's Last Tape." 2:30-4 p.m.

*"Rockaby." 7-8 p.m.

*"Film." 8-9 p.m.

*"Through the Keyhole: Three Television Plays by Samuel Beckett: Eh Joe, Ghost Trio and ...but the clouds..." 9-10 p.m.

Sunday, April 14 (screenings in the Croker Room, third floor, Candler Library)

*"Warten auf Godot [German], Act 1." Directed by Samuel Beckett with Walter Asmus. 2-3:15 p.m.

*"En Attendant Godot [French]." 3:20-5 p.m.

*"Waiting for Godot [English]," from "Beckett Directs Beckett," closing portion of Act II. 5:15-6 p.m.

For information, call Theater Emory at 727-0524.

--Joyce Bell &

Dan Treadaway

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