Son of Sam I Am
PERFORMERS UNDER STRESS (PUS) CLOSE SEASON WITH
RARELY-PERFORMED SAMUEL BECKETT SHORTS
April 24-May 17, 2008
Waiting for Godot), and the World Premiere of THE BOOK OF MARK, a solo performance adapted and performed from the biblical text by acclaimed playwright Charles Pike (Chicago’s Steppenwolf, Second City, and others). Scott Baker, PUS co-founding Artistic Director, and director of the company’s critically acclaimed West Coast Premiere of Sam I Am, helms this illuminating take on Beckett’s modernist masterpieces and this original solo show.
SON OFSAM I AM plays April 24-May 3 and THE BOOK OF MARK plays May 8-17 at The Garage, 975 Howard. For tickets ($15-20) and more information, the public may call 415-948-5637or visit brownpapertickets.com. Tickets are also available through
Chicago’s acclaimed PUS (Performers Under Stress) presents SON OF SAM I AM, an evening of rarely-performed short works by Irish dramatist, novelist, and poet, Samuel Beckett (Endgame,
TIX Union Square and at the door.
SON OFSAM I AMfeatures an eclectic selection of Beckett’s short works, including Catastrophe, Rockabye, and Krapp’s Last Tape, as well as several short pieces of fiction that the audience will blindly pick from a clothesline.
•Written in 1982 and dedicated to then imprisoned Czech reformer and playwrightVáclav Havel, Catastrophe finds a tyrannical Director molding an actor on a platform into his own personal vision of a catastrophe, with the aid of his befuddled Assistant. Perhaps a comment on Beckett’s own work, Catastrophe is a comment on societies that restrict free speech through state-censored art, and of course, the tyranny of certain stage directors.
•A woman dressed in a black gown sits rocking in a chair that rocks of its own volition. A voice speaks to her. It is lulling her to sleep, perhaps her last sleep. Or maybe, it is waking her up. Beckett penned Rockaby in 1980 for a festival and symposium in commemoration of his 75th birthday.
•Written in the late 1950s and later translated into English by Beckett himself, Rough for Theatre I echoes both the themes and situations of
Endgame and Waiting for Godot. A is a blind street corner fiddler looking for spare change. B is an invalid in a wheelchair looking for company. Will it be love or violence between them, or both?
•In Rough for Radio I, written in 1961, A Woman comes to visit A Man in his room. She asks to listen. The Man instructs her to turn the knobs of the instrument. Voices emerge. There are births. There is death. Nothing is resolved, but we do learn The Man’s name.
•One of Beckett’s funniest and most ironically chilling works for the stage, Krapp’s Last Tapepremiered as a curtain raiser to Endgame in 1958 and was originally written for Northern Irish actor Patrick Magee. It is Krapp’s 69th birthday and, as has become his custom, he hauls out his old tape recorder and reviews one of the earlier years – in this case the recording he made when he was 39. As he looks back with longing on the ashes of his youth, he finds he has nothing he wants to record for posterity.
See Skip Emerson in Break A Leg