Stanley E Gontarski: Working with Beckett

3 March 2014 · Trinity College Dublin
Professor Stanley E. Gontarski
Working with Beckett
3 March 2014
Trinity College Dublin

A lecture by Prof Stanley E Gontarski (Florida State University), organised by the Trinity College Library, the School of English and the School of Drama, Film and Music, TCD.

Professor Stanley E Gontarski, whose letters, papers and books relating to Samuel Beckett have been acquired recently by Trinity College Library Dublin, will discuss his working relationship with the playwright.

This began on 30 March 1973, when Beckett wrote to draw Gontarski’s attention to the director’s notebook that he kept for Glückliche Tage, the Happy Days production he directed in German in 1971 at the Werkstatt of Berlin’s famed Schiller-Theater. In May 1980, Gontarski, invited to watch Beckett direct in London, persuaded him to write a new play expressly for a conference he was organizing the following year at The Ohio State University to celebrate Beckett’s 75th year. This became first ‘The Ohio project’ and then Ohio Impromptu, the only work in Beckett’s oeuvre with a geographical reference. During extended stays in Paris in 1985-86, Gontarski worked on theatrical productions with Beckett, particularly an adaptation of Beckett’s novella, Company, and a re-adaptation of what would become Beckett’s final completed work for theatre, What Where.

Gontarski directed the English-language premieres of these works: Company in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre in 1985, and What Where, part of an evening called ‘The Beckett Vision’, at San Francisco’s Magic Theater in 1986, the latter filmed by Global Village in 1987 as part of a DVD collection, ‘Peephole Art: Beckett for Television’ and released commercially in 1995. The production became a central part of the documentary Waiting for Beckett, a YouTube clip of which features Beckett’s discussing this production. Film versions of both productions were shown in Dublin in 1991 during the Dublin Theatre Festival. Finally, Gontarski worked closely with Beckett while editing The Theatrical Notebooks of Samuel Beckett: Endgame; during this process, Beckett made final revisions to the play, not long before he passed away.

To register for this event, please contact mscripts@tcd.ie

Location: Monday 3 March 2014 at 18:30, Trinity Long Room Hub [Read More]

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