Press Release for Tuesday, September 30, 2008

UNF Hosts 'Samuel Beckett Festival: A Trilogy of Events'

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida’s Irish Studies Program and the College of Arts and Sciences will sponsor a “Samuel Beckett Festival: A Trilogy of Events” this fall on the UNF campus in honor of the Irish writer, dramatist and poet.

This interdisciplinary trilogy will include a historical and theoretical discussion of Samuel Beckett’s work by Herbert Blau; a musical performance of Morton Feldman’s “For Samuel Beckett,” conducted by renowned composer and violinist Tom Chiu; and a theatrical production of Beckett’s play, “Krapp’s Last Tape,” by Rick Cluchey. Most events are free and open to the public.

Beckett, the 1969 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, is one of the great writers of the 20th century and his enduring impact on world literature and the arts has been enormous.

The events comprising the Beckett Trilogy are as follows:

Dr. Herbert Blau, “Dark Energy: An Aesthetic of Irrelevance;” Thursday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m., UNF Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, Free—Blau, a leading theater and performance theorist as well as the renowned director of some of the earliest avant-garde theater productions in the U.S., will present a lecture titled “Dark Energy: An Aesthetic of Irrelevance” from his soon-to-be-released book, “As If: An Autobiography.”

His presentation will reflect upon the theatrical atmosphere in San Francisco during the time that The Actor’s Workshop was developing. He also will discuss his now legendary 1957 production of Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” at California’s San Quentin State Prison. In this production, Blau began working with the actor (and San Quentin inmate) Rick Cluchey. After his parole, he became one of Beckett’s principal actors.

“For Samuel Beckett,” composted by Morton Feldman and conducted by Tom Chiu; Monday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m., Robinson Theater, Free—The second component of the Beckett trilogy will be a rare performance of contemporary American composer Morton Feldman’s “For Samuel Beckett.” The piece involves a chamber ensemble of 23 musicians and was one of Feldman’s final compositions.

The renowned young composer and violinist Tom Chiu will be conducting a four-day residency with UNF faculty, students and music professors Charlotte Mabrey and Simon Shiao in preparation for the performance of the piece. At noon on Friday, Oct. 31, Chiu will hold a Performance Lab, where he will perform several pieces for solo violin as well as lecture on Feldman and the presentation of “For Samuel Beckett.” This event will be held in the Recital Hall and is free and open to the public.

“Krapp’s Last Tape,” by Samuel Beckett starring Rick Cluchey; Thursday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m., Robinson Theater; Tickets $10, Students, $5—From the life-altering theatrical performance of “Waiting for Godot” at San Quentin, Cluchey with other inmates established the San Quentin Drama Workshop, where plays of Beckett and other playwrights were staged in the former gallows room of the prison.

Cluchey was granted early parole in 1966 and in 1973, he was touring Europe with ex-con members of the workshop in a production of Beckett’s “Endgame,” when he first met Beckett.

In 1977, Beckett chose to direct Cluchey in one of the playwright’s greatest plays, “Krapp’s Last Tape.” Cluchey’s solo performance of a man poignantly reflecting back upon his long life—with the aid of his trusty tape recorder—is regarded by many as this play’s definitive interpretation.

Tickets for the performance of “Krapp’s Last Tape” are available at UNF’s Ticket Box Office at (904) 620-2878. For more information about these events, contact Dr. Clark Lunberry, UNF English Department, at or at (904) 620-1284.