A MIND-BENDING EVENING OF BECKETT to Begin 10/16 at Irish Rep
The New York premiere of A MIND-BENDING EVENING OF BECKETT features the short plays Act Without Words, Breath and Play, at the Irish Repertory Theatre. With direction and puppet design by Bob Flanagan, A MIND-BENDING EVENING OF BECKETT will be performed October 16th- December 1st in the Irish Rep's W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre (132 West 22nd Street). The press opening is Tuesday, October 22nd.
A MIND-BENDING EVENING OF BECKETT explores the landscape of the human condition - a view of the world painted as only Mr. Beckett can. In absurdist, minimal style he explores the frustrating trials and tribulations of Everyman stranded on a desert island in Act Without Words -- a mime, presented here with Bunraku style puppetry. Breath, perhaps the world's shortest play, is a thought provoking statement on human life itself, followed by Play, a study in how our choices in life bind us together forever as we visit three people who are trapped and isolated due to an unexceptional affair. Bob Flanagan, who brought magic to the Irish Rep's production of The Emperor Jones with his spell-binding puppetry, guides these brief masterpieces into a unique evening of theater.
Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett (1906 - 1989) was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. Widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century, Beckett's classic plays include Waiting For Godot, Endgame, and Happy Days.
Bob Flanagan is founder of Den Design Studio, a puppet, prop and special effects studio. For 27 seasons, he has been designing puppets, specialty props, costumes and effects for "Saturday Night Live." Mr. Flanagan is also responsible for the 64 puppets used on "Crank Yankers," which ran four seasons on Comedy Central. Mr. Flanagan's recent theatrical endeavors include the design and construction of the 40-foot Time Dragon puppet which resides on the proscenium of Broadway's Wicked, as well as the production's Wonderful Wizard of Oz head and lion cub puppet. Off Broadway, Bob designed and directed Rafferty Rescues the Moon and Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince (produced in relation with Irish Rep). His design work on Irish Rep's The Hairy Ape earned a 2007 Henry Hewes Design Award nomination, and he also earned a Drama Desk nomination for his work with masks and puppets in The Irish Rep's 2010 production of Eugene O'Neil's The Emperor Jones, starring John Douglas Thompson. Before founding Den Design Studio, Mr. Flanagan worked for five and a half years as a designer for the Muppet Workshop and Jim Henson Productions. He won an Emmy Award in 1986 for outstanding achievement in costume design for his work on "Sesame Street."
A MIND-BENDING EVENING OF BECKETT has set design by N. Joseph DeTullio, lighting design by Michael Gottlieb, and music and sound design by Ryan Rumery. Puppets are designed and created by Den Design Studio. The Production Stage Manager is Elis C. Arroyo.
The Irish Repertory Theatre, co-founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Charlotte Moore and Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly, provides a context for understanding the contemporary Irish-American experience through evocative works of theater, music, and dance. This mission is accomplished by staging the works of Irish and Irish-American classic and contemporary playwrights, encouraging the development of new works focused on the Irish and Irish-American experience, and producing the works of other cultures interpreted through the lens of an Irish sensibility. Ms. Moore and Mr. O'Reilly received a 2013 Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award in recognition of Irish Repertory Theatre's twenty-five years of producing outstanding theatre.