Pan Pan Theatre to Bring Beckett's EMBERS to BAM Next Month
Pan Pan Theatre Company will bring EMBERS by Samuel Beckett to BAM's Harvey Theater (651 Fulton St). Directed by Gavin Quinn with sculpture by Andrew Clancy, lighting design by Aedín Cosgrove and sound design by Jimmy Eadie, the show will run September 17-20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $35.
Embers is a theatricalized presentation of an early radio play by the legendary absurdist author, Samuel Beckett, staged by the groundbreaking Pan Pan Theatre Company. First broadcast in 1959, the play opens with Henry, sitting on a beach remembering and imagining stories and incidents from his life. Tormented by his father's suicide, his own dysfunctional marriage and family, and his failure as a writer, his attempts to find salvation falter. His recollections and reality merge into a murky void, where ever-shifting mental leaps, ruminations, ambiguities and unfinished memories -- real and fictional -- coalesce.
This US Premiere combines Aedín Cosgrove's dramatic and transformative lighting design with contemporary sound art and pre-recorded sound bytes. The internal dialogue of the narrator's "skullscape" is realized onstage as a bleak, imposing set in the form of a giant wooden skull with hollow eyes by sculptor Andrew Clancy. The two actors Andrew Bennett and Áine Ní Mhuirí -- playing the main character Henry and his deceased wife Ada -- remain onstage for the hour-long work, their faces barely visible through the eyes of the monolithic skull.
About the artists:
Since Pan Pan was established by Co-Directors Gavin Quinn and Aedi?n Cosgrove, the company has constantly examined and challenged the nature of its work and has resisted settling into well-tried formulas. Developing new performance ideas is at the center of the company's raison d'e?tre, which is born of a desire to be unique, and provide innovation in the development of theatre art. Pan Pan Theatre has produced 22 theater works, One (a film), and published a significant photographic book. All works created are original, either through the writing (original plays) or through the totally unique expression of established works. The company is committed to presenting performances nationally and internationally and developing links for co-productions and collaborations. Pan Pan has toured in Ireland, UK, Europe, US, Canada, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and China, and was last at BAM with Beckett's All That Fall, which was part of Next Wave 2012.
Dublin native Gavin Quinn began making theater when he was five years old in the back garden of his childhood home. He is a graduate of the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin and for the past 15 years has created contemporary, intimate, and expressive theater projects largely in collaboration with acclaimed designer and Pan Pan's Co-Founder Aedi?n Cosgrove.
In addition to directing all of Pan Pan's productions he has directed Tom Johnson's The Four-Note Opera, Carmen and The (Little) Magic Flute for Opera Theatre Company, as well as Cosi? fan tutte for Opera Ireland. His Mandarin-language production of Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, transposed to a dubious Beijing hair salon-cum-massage parlor, opened in the Beijing Oriental Pioneer Theatre in March 2006 and was performed in the Project Arts Centre in December that year. The production earned him the Irish Times Special Jury Award. Quinn also co-wrote and directed Oedipus Loves You (2006), One: Healing with Theater (2005), MAC-BETH 7 (2004) Standoffish (2000), and co- curated with Aedi?n The Dublin International Theatre Symposium from 1997-2003. He is a board member of the Irish Theater Institute.
Aedi?n Cosgrove is co-founder and joint director of Pan Pan Theatre. She has been working in lighting design since graduating from the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin in 1989, designing and lighting all of Pan Pan Theatre's productions to date. Aedi?n has also worked as a designer for the Peacock Theater, Corcadorca Theater Company, Bedrock Theater and the Crash Ensemble, a contemporary music and multimedia ensemble. Her lighting design for All That Fall earned an Irish Times Theatre Award in 2012.
Andrew Bennett's previous work with Pan Pan includes Everyone Is King Lear In His Own Home, All That Fall, Mac-Beth 7, Oedipus Loves You, and The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane. His work with the Corn Exchange Theatre includes Freefall, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Everyday, Lolita, The Seagull, and Foley. Work with the Abbey/ Peacock includes The Importance of Being Earnest, The Playboy of the Western World, Translations, The House, Tarry Flynn, and Fool for Love. He has worked with Druid, Rough Magic, Passion Machine, and Bedrock. Film and television credits include Angela's Ashes, Paths to Freedom, Pure Mule, Prosperity, Garage, Your Bad Self, Pentecost, Chris O'Dowd's Moone Boy, Foyle's War, Damo And Ivor, Noble, and The Stag.
A?ine Ni? Mhuiri? began her career at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, where she appeared in The Loves of Cass Maguire, The Plough and the Stars (US tour), and The Field. Her engagements elsewhere include The Voices of Shem at the Gate Theater, Dublin; Exiles, Juno and the Paycock for the Royal National Theatre; Solemn Mass for a Full Moon in Summer for Rough Magic; Philadelphia Here I Come! with the Second Age Theater Company; John Gabriel Borkman at the Focus Theater, Dublin; and A Doll's House and All That Fall (Next Wave 2012) for Pan Pan Theatre. Her films include The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, The Field, Playboys, The Run of the Country, Puckoon, Blind Fight, and Boy Eats Girl. Her television credits include Teems of Times, The Irish RM, The Price, Fair City, and Jack Taylor for RTE?. She also appeared in Ballykissangel for BBC Television, for which she received a CFT Excellence Award.
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM Rose Cinemas, and BAMcafe? are located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at 30 Lafayette Avenue (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place) in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. BAM Harvey Theater is located two blocks from the main building at 651 Fulton Street (between Ashland and Rockwell Places). Both locations house Greenlight Bookstore at BAM kiosks. BAM Fisher, located at 321 Ashland Place, is the newest addition to the BAM campus and houses the Judith and Alan Fishman Space and Rita K. Hillman Studio. BAM Rose Cinemas is Brooklyn's only movie house dedicated to first-run independent and foreign film and repertory programming. BAMcafe?, operated by Great Performances, offers a bar menu and dinner entre?es prior to BAM Howard Gilman Opera House evening performances. BAMcafe? also features an eclectic mix of spoken word and live music for BAMcafe? Live on Friday and Saturday nights with a bar menu available starting at 6pm.
Talk: Beckett at BAM: A Look into the BAM Hamm Archives
With Jonathan Kalb and Sharon Lehner
Sep 18 at 6pm
BAM Fisher (Hillman Studio), 321 Ashland Place
Tickets: $15, $7.50 for Friends of BAM
For ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org.
Photo Credit: Ros Cavanagh