Samuel Beckett's ENDGAME to Open at Washington Stage Guild This Month

This profound and eerie masterpiece from the Nobel Prize recipient is considered by many critics to be Beckett's greatest single work.

By: Jan. 05, 2023
Samuel Beckett's ENDGAME to Open at Washington Stage Guild This Month

The Washington Stage Guild will continue its 2022-2023 season, a "Season of Transitions," with Endgame by Samuel Beckett, directed by Alan Wade. Performances begin January 26 - 28 with four Pay-What-You-Can previews and run until February 19, 2023 at the Washington Stage Guild's home, The Undercroft Theatre in the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. Opening/Press performance is Sunday, January 29 at 2:30pm.


A quartet of characters inhabit a nearly empty room, surrounded by nothing, it seems. Do they want it to end, or can they go on with their limited lives? A pinnacle of Samuel Beckett's characteristic raw minimalism, Endgame is a devastating distillation of the human essence in the face of approaching death. This profound and eerie masterpiece from the Nobel Prize recipient is considered by many critics to be his greatest single work.

"We are so pleased to turn from one Nobel laureate, Major Barbara's George Bernard Shaw, to another, Samuel Beckett," says Artistic Director Bill Largess. "He has been an occasional presence on our stage since the Helen Hayes Award nominated performance by June Hansen in Happy Days (directed by Alan Wade) and has been a character in two productions-Lucia Mad and last season's Sam & Dede, in which Beckett was played by Wade himself!"

"Many literary critics have called Samuel Beckett's Endgame his 'masterpiece,' states director Alan Wade. "Beckett said it was his play that he 'disliked the least.' That characterization rather typifies Beckettian humor which I hope will play an appropriate role in the Stage Guild's production."


Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) is widely recognized as one of the greatest dramatists of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. Beckett is most renowned for his play Waiting for Godot, which launched his career in theatre. He then went on to write numerous successful full-length plays, including Endgame in 1957, Krapp's Last Tape in 1958, and Happy Days in 1960. He received his first commission for radio from the BBC in 1956 for All That Fall. This was followed by a further five plays for radio, including Embers, Words and Music and Cascando. Like no other dramatist before him, Beckett's works capture the pathos and ironies of modern life yet still maintain his faith in man's capacity for compassion and survival, no matter how absurd his environment may have become.

Washington Stage Guild has previously produced Beckett's play Happy Days in 1990.


The cast of Endgame includes Bill Largess (Hamm), a founding member of WSG and the current Artistic Director. His WSG credits include Man & Superman, his own adaptation of Dante's Inferno, as director, Murder in The Cathedral and Pygmalion, performing in an evening of Beckett plays at the 2000 International Beckett Festival, and appearing at nearly every D.C.-area theatre company, as well as nationally. His work has been nominated five times for Helen Hayes Awards. The cast also features Matty Griffiths (Clov), a freelance actor and director and former Executive Director/Founder of City Artistic Partnerships who recently appeared in Gwen & Ida (Nu Sass), Clothes for a Summer Hotel (Rainbow Theatre Project), and Driving Miss Daisy (Anacostia Playhouse); David Bryan Jackson (Nagg), returning to WSG having appeared previously in Candida, The Old Masters, Magic, The Best of Friends and Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, and recently performed in A Number (Edge of the Universe Players 2/Capital Fringe) and Birds of North America (Mosaic Theater Company); Rosemary Regan (Nell), making her first appearance with WSG after a career that has wandered all over the DC area, including James Joyce's 'The Dead' (Scena Theatre), An Inspector Calls (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Optimism! Or, Voltaire's 'Candide' (Spooky Action Theater), and a variety of roles at Studio Theatre; and R. Scott Williams (Hamm alternate at Saturday evening performances), who is pleased to return to WSG following previous adventures in Mrs. Warren's Profession, All Save One, Opus, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, and performances with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Theatre Alliance, and over 600 performances of Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center.

Endgame is directed by Alan Wade who previously directed several Stage Guild productions including the 1990 production of Beckett's Happy Days featuring June Hansen. Mr. Wade's one-man show I, from the prose of Samuel Beckett premiered at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre in 1977 and was then performed in Baltimore and Boston. His latest audiobook narration for Audible is Watson and Holmes by E. B. Dawson.

The production team includes Joseph B. Musumeci, Jr. (Scenic Design), Marianne Meadows (Lighting Design), Stephanie Parks (Costume Design), Marcus Darnley (Sound Design), and Arthur Nordlie (Production Stage Manager).


Endgame by Samuel Beckett runs January 26 to February 19, 2023 with performances Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2:30pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 2:30pm. The run begins with four Pay-What-You-Can performances Thursday, January 26 at 7:30pm, Friday, January 27 at 8pm, and Saturday, January 28 at 2:30pm & 8pm (Pay What You Can tickets can be purchased for any cash price at the door beginning one hour prior to curtain). Opening/Press performance is Sunday, January 29 at 2:30pm.

NOTE: R. Scott Williams will play the role of Hamm at all Saturday evening performances.

All tickets are General Admission and are $50 Thursday &Saturday/Sunday matinees, $60 Friday & Saturday evenings. Student Admission is half-price with a valid Student ID. Senior Citizens 65 years and up get $10 OFF General Admission Prices. Groups of 10 or more get half-price tickets. Purchase at


Founded in 1986 by a professional company of theatre artists dedicated to producing literate, challenging works in a collegial and supportive atmosphere, the Washington Stage Guild quickly established itself as an indispensable component of the D.C. area theatre scene; recognized as early as the end of the first season (1987) by The Washington Post. The ensemble theatre company's acclaimed repertoire of neglected classics, unfamiliar works by familiar playwrights, and stimulating new plays from around the world is presented in a style that is the Guild's own-direct and clear, with a strong commitment to adhering to the author's intent.