Samuel Beckett Headshot

Samuel Beckett

Date of Death: December 22, 1989

Birth Place: Foxrock, County Dublin, IRELAND

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Samuel Beckett BIO

Samuel Beckett is widely regarded as one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century. Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1906, Beckett attended Trinity College Dublin and later taught at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He wrote his first novel, Dream of Fair to Middling Women, in 1932, but it was never published during his lifetime.

Beckett's first major play, Waiting for Godot, premiered in Paris in 1953 and is now considered a seminal work of the Theatre of the Absurd. The play's two main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for the eponymous Godot, who never arrives. The play's themes of existentialism, meaninglessness, and the human condition struck a chord with audiences and critics alike. Waiting for Godot has since been performed countless times around the world and has been translated into over 20 languages.

Beckett's other major plays include Endgame (1957), Krapp's Last Tape (1958), and Happy Days (1961). These works continue to be studied and performed today, and have cemented Beckett's reputation as a master of modernist drama.

In addition to his plays, Beckett also wrote a number of novels, including Molloy (1951), Malone Dies (1951), and The Unnamable (1953). These works are known for their experimental style, complex themes, and exploration of the limits of language.

Beckett was also a prolific writer of poetry, essays, and short stories. His work often dealt with themes of alienation, suffering, and the search for meaning in a world that seems to offer none. Beckett's writing is marked by its spare, minimalist style, which he developed in response to what he saw as the excesses of modern literature.

Beckett's influence on the arts cannot be overstated. His work has inspired countless writers, artists, and filmmakers, and his ideas about the nature of existence and the human condition continue to resonate with audiences today.

Despite his success as a writer, Beckett was notoriously private and reclusive. He rarely gave interviews and shunned publicity. He spent the last years of his life in a nursing home in Paris, where he died in 1989 at the age of 83.

Beckett's most recent work is his posthumously published novella, Echo's Bones, which was released in 2014. The work was originally intended to be the final chapter of his novel, Murphy, but was cut by his publisher at the time. The novella tells the story of a man who is haunted by the ghost of his dead wife, and explores themes of memory, loss, and the nature of reality.

Samuel Beckett Productions

[Off-Broadway, 1986]


Source Material
Source Material

Samuel Beckett Awards and Nominations

Obie Awards - 1984 - Playwriting

Samuel Beckett, Ohio Impromptu

Obie Awards - 1984 - Playwriting

Samuel Beckett, What Where

Obie Awards - 1984 - Playwriting

Samuel Beckett, Catastrophe

Obie Awards - 1984 - Playwriting

Samuel BeckettPocket

Obie Awards - 1964 - Best Play

Samuel Beckett Play

Obie Awards - 1962 - Best Foreign Play

Samuel Beckett, Happy Days

Obie Awards - 1960 - Distinguished Play

Samuel Beckett, Krapp's Last Tape

Samuel Beckett Videos

Samuel Beckett News

Tickets On Sale Today For WAITING FOR GODOT at Theatre Royal Haymarket

Tickets are now on sale for the new production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, directed by James Macdonald, starring Lucian Msamati (Estragon) and Ben Whishaw (Vladimir).

Full Cast And Creative Team Set For DIRECTOR'S HAVEN 7 at The Den Theatre

Haven has revealed its cast for Director's Haven 7, which features three emerging directors. See who is starring and learn more bout the program!

Haven Announces DIRECTOR'S HAVEN 7, Featuring Three Emerging Directors In Fully Staged Productions of Short Plays

Haven announces Director's Haven 7, featuring three emerging directors in fully staged productions of short plays.

Guthrie Theater to Present ON BECKETT Featuring Tony Award Winner Bill Irwin

The Guthrie Theater has revealed the cast and creative team for On Beckett, an Irish Repertory Theatre production produced by Octopus Theatricals. Learn how to purchase tickets!

A Una Década De Ausencia, Evocan La Prolífica Obra De José Emilio Pacheco

A una década de ausencia, evocan la prolífica obra de José Emilio Pacheco. Recuerdan al autor mexicano en su 10º aniversario luctuoso y destacan su contribución a la literatura hispanoamericana.

Works By Iconic Artists & Performers Of The 1970s On View at MOCA Jacksonville

MOCA Jacksonville has announced A Walk on the Wild Side: ‘70s New York in the Norman E. Fisher Collection at MOCA Jacksonville, an exhibition exploring the dynamic culture of New York in the 1970s that spurred a decade of collaboration and innovation between artists working in a variety of genres.

Salvador Novo, Poeta, Ensayista Y Guionista, Renovó La Literatura Mexicana

Salvador Novo, poet, essayist, and screenwriter, revolutionized Mexican literature. Learn about his works and contributions to Mexican culture in this article.

The New Group Off Stage to Stream LYPSINKA: TOXIC FEMININITY Directed by Chloë Sevigny

THE NEW GROUP OFF STAGE presents 'Lypsinka: Toxic Femininity,' a new short film written and performed by John Epperson and directed by Chloë Sevigny.

London's First Taiwan Festival Opens in April

The Coronet Theatre has announced Taiwan Festival, London’s first ever major celebration of contemporary arts and culture from Taiwan.

Gabby Beans, Samuel Henry Levine & More to Star in JONAH at Roundabout Theatre Company

Roundabout Theatre Company has revealed the complete cast for the world premiere of Jonah by Rachel Bonds, directed by Danya Taymor.

Lucian Msamati and Ben Whishaw Will Lead WAITING FOR GODOT at Theatre Royal Haymarket

A new production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot will open at next year, directed by James Macdonald and starring Lucian Msamati (Estragon) and Ben Whishaw (Vladimir), with further casting to be announced. The production opens at Theatre Royal Haymarket in September 2024 and will play a strictly limited run.

Bill Irwin's One-Man Show ON BECKETT Begins Performances at Two River Theater This Week

Don't miss Tony Award-winning actor Bill Irwin's captivating performance in 'On Beckett' at Two River Theater. Experience the beauty of Samuel Beckett's language in this intimate one-man show. Get your tickets now!

TFANA to Present Final Extension Of WAITING FOR GODOT Starring Michael Shannon & More

THEATRE FOR A NEW AUDIENCE announces final extension of Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot' starring Michael Shannon and Paul Sparks. Don't miss this critically acclaimed production running through December 23.

Genesis Owusu Returns With New Single 'Survivor'

The song from the multi-ARIA Award winning Ghanaian Australian artist will be included as an additional track to his acclaimed sophomore album, STRUGGLER (OURNESS / AWAL). The surprise release arrives ahead of Owusu's Australian tour this December and his incredible showing at last month's ARIA Awards in Australia where he won Album of The Year.

WAITING FOR GODOT Starring Michael Shannon, Paul Sparks & More Extended at TFANA

Theatre for a New Audience, responding to demand, will present a two-week extension of its production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, directed by Arin Arbus. Learn how to purchase tickets!

GENESIS OWUSU: 'STRUGGLER' Named 'Album of the Year' at ARIAS

Earlier this week, STRUGGLER was named 'Album of the Year' at Australia's ARIA Awards, among other wins and Owusu was names Australian Live Act of the Year by triple j. He also just wrapped up an extensive North American tour before heading to the UK, Europe and then back home to Australia for a headline run before the new year.

Bari Player Josh Sinton's Solo Double Album To Be Released January 12

Bari player Josh Sinton is releasing a solo double album on Jan. 12, showcasing his impressive technique, improvisation, and imagination.

Wake Up With BroadwayWorld November 16th, 2023

Rise and shine, BroadwayWorld! It is November 16, 2023 and it's time to catch up on all of the theatrical happenings you may have missed in the last 24 hours.

Review Roundup: WAITING FOR GODOT Opens Off-Broadway at Theatre For a New Audience

The second production in TFANA’s 2023-24 season is Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, staged by Arin Arbus and starring Michael Shannon, Paul Sparks and more. Read the reviews for Waiting For Godot here!

Barbican Reveals Theatre & Dance's 2024 Spring Season

The Barbican has announced its next Theatre and Dance line-up beginning on 23 January and running until 9 June 2024. Learn more about the upcoming programming here!


Samuel Beckett has written 23 shows including Embers (Playwright), Play/ The Lover (Playwright), Krapp's Last Tape/ The Zoo Story (Playwright), Happy Days (Playwright), Oh! Calcutta! (Material), Jack MacGowran in the Works of Samuel Beckett (Material), Happy Days/ Act Without Words 1 (Playwright), Krapp's Last Tape/ Not I (Playwright), Mercier & Camier (Source Material), Play and Other Plays (Playwright), Samuel Beckett's Ohio Impromptu, Catastrophe, What Where (Playwright), Rockaby (Playwright), Endgame (Playwright), All Strange Away (Playwright), I'll Go On (Source Material), Happy Days (Playwright), Texts for Nothing (Playwright), Krapp's Last Tape (Playwright), Beckett/Albee (Playwright), Beckett Shorts (Playwright), Waiting for Godot (Playwright), All That Fall (Playwright), Endgame (Playwright).

Samuel Beckett has been nominated for several awards throughout his career. These include Best Revival at the Olivier Awards for "Endgame," Special Citation at the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, and multiple nominations for Playwriting at the Obie Awards for plays such as "Ohio Impromptu," "What Where," "Catastrophe," and "Pocket." He has also received nominations for Best Foreign Play and Best Play at the Obie Awards for plays like "Not I," "Play," and "Happy Days," as well as a Distinguished Play nomination for "Krapp's Last Tape." Additionally, Beckett's play "Endgame" was nominated for Best Foreign Play at the Obie Awards, and "Waiting for Godot" was recognized as the Most Controversial Play at the Evening Standard Awards.

Samuel Beckett has won several awards throughout his career. These include a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, Playwriting awards from the Obie Awards for "Ohio Impromptu," "What Where," "Catastrophe," and "Pocket," a Best Foreign Play award from the Obie Awards for "Not I," a Best Play award from the Obie Awards for "Play," a Best Foreign Play award from the Obie Awards for "Happy Days," a Distinguished Play award from the Obie Awards for "Krapp's Last Tape," a Best Foreign Play award from the Obie Awards for "Endgame," and a Most Controversial Play award from the Evening Standard Awards for "Waiting for Godot."

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