LONG WHARF THEATRE TO PRESENT ENDGAME BY SAMUEL BECKETT FROM JANUARY 5 THROUGH FEBRUARY 5, 2017
NEW HAVEN – Long Wharf Theatre, under the director of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein, presents Endgame, by Samuel Beckett, directed by Edelstein.
The play runs from January 5 through February 5, 2017 on Stage II. Tickets start at $29.
The press opening will take place on Wednesday, January 18 at 7 pm. Seating is extremely limited.
Brian Dennehy (Love Letters, Krapp’s Last Tape, and Hughie) and Reg E. Cathey (Obie Award-winner), two of the greatest stage actors of this generation, star in a once in a lifetime theatrical event, performing one of the most influential plays of the 20th century. Endgame, Samuel Beckett’s uncompromising masterpiece, explores the biggest question we all face – can love, family, or belief truly give meaning to our lives? Beckett’s rich use of language, mordant sense of humor, and courageous worldview combine to weave a spell both humorous and chilling. “That such a dark and unsparing play can leave its audiences so richly rewarded is one of the great mysteries of art,” said The Telegraph.
The cast includes Cathey (Clov), Dennehy (Hamm), Joe Grifasi (Nagg), and Lynn Cohen (Nell.) The creative team includes Eugene Lee (sets), Kaye Voyce (costumes), Jennifer Tipton (lighting), and Kathy Snyder (stage manager.)
Dennehy is one of the leading interpreters of the works of Beckett and O’Neill in the country right now. He has been most recently seen at Long Wharf Theatre in Love Letters (with Mia Farrow), Krapp’s Last Tape, and Hughie. Cathey, winner of both an Emmy and an Obie award, has been seen in “The Wire,” “Oz,” and “House of Cards.” Grifasi has appeared in over 50 films and has appeared on Broadway six times, including in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In addition to countless stage performances in New York and beyond, Cohen has appeared in close to a 100 films and television shows, including Manhattan Murder Mystery, Munich, and “Sex and the City.”
Dennehy is excited to tackle the role of Hamm in Endgame, seeing it as completing the canon of Beckett’s work. “I’m only interested in doing stuff that’s hard to do, that’s challenging and as a result pays off or blows up in your face,” Dennehy told Playbill in March 2016. “For people like me, it’s O’Neill or Miller or Beckett and maybe a handful of other playwrights who have written for people with some years on them. And I intend to do as many of them as I can before I hang it up.”
Endgame received its world premiere in England (although the production was in French) in 1957. It debuted in New York at Cherry Lane Theatre in 1958. Endgame, as is true of much of much of Beckett’s work, was first regarded with mixed emotions by critics – some adored Beckett’s perspective, finding it poetic, while many others were baffled. Over time, Beckett’s work took its place in forefront of 20th century literature.
Beckett, a Nobel Prize winner in 1969, was born in Dublin in 1906. Educated at Trinity College, he entertained notions of an academic career before moving to Paris permanently in 1937. In 1938, Beckett barely survived a knife attack. When he finally questioned his attacker as to why, the man said he didn’t know, a crucial moment in shaping Beckett’s worldview about the randomness of life.
He and his wife Suzanne Deschevaux-Dumesnil joined the French Resistance during World War II, with Beckett serving as a messenger and working in a hospital. He was awarded the Medaille de Resistance and the Croix de Guerre.
Beckett began writing novels, and wrote his first play, Waiting for Godot, in 1953. Endgame followed Godot, with Krapp’s Last Tape, recently performed by Dennehy at Long Wharf Theatre. In 1961, Beckett wrote Happy Days. He continued throughout his life to fiercely cling to his privacy, writing short prose and plays almost until his final days. He died in 1989, celebrated the world over as a writer who changed the course of contemporary drama.
For more information about the show, call 203-787-4282 or visit longwharf.org.
CREATIVE TEAM BIOS
REG E. CATHEY
Reg is delighted to make his Long Wharf debut with long-time friend Gordon Edelstein and Endgame. His stage, screen, television and radio credits include The Green Bird (Broadway); The Shawshank Redemption (Dublin, West End); The Eighth (Manchester International Theatre Festival, UK Tour, Original Cast album); Tempest (LaMama); Love’s Labour’s Lost (NYSF Public Theatre); Timon of Athens (NYSF); Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, Measure For Measure (NYSF-Delacorte); Talk (Obie,Foundry), The Cure at Troy (Yale Rep.); Heresy (The Flea); Theatre of War-Ajax, Antigone in Ferguson (Outside the Lines). TV/Film: “Hands of Stone,” “Fantastic Four,” “St. Vincent,” “SWAT,” “Outcast,” “House of Cards” (Emmy), “The Wire,” “The Divide,” “Oz” and the radio series’ “American Song” and “Taking Care of Paul”(Airwayv).
Ms. Cohen has appeared on Broadway in Ivanov and Orpheus Descending. Some of her Off-Broadway credits include I Remember Mama (The Gym at Judson), Big Love (Signature Center), Chasing Manet (59E59), Macbeth (Delacorte), The Golem (Manhattan Ensemble Theatre), Paradise Island (Theater at St. Clement Church), The Knees Desire the Dirt (Julia Miles Theater), The Devils (New York Theater Workshop), The Model Apartment (Primary Stages), Love Diatribe (Circle Rep), Hamlet (Public Theater), and Total Eclipse (Westside Theater). Cohen previously appeared at Long Wharf Theatre in Our Town and Forgiving Typhoid Mary. She has made over 90 film and television appearances including Manhattan Murder Mystery, Catching Fire: The Hunger Games 2, Munich, and “Sex and the City.”
Mr. Dennehy has worked extensively in film, theatre and television for three decades. He has won the Tony Award for Best Actor for his work in Death of a Salesman and Long Day’s Journey Into Night, respectively. Dennehy has also received a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy Award nomination for Showtime’s “Death of a Salesman.” Other notable stage work includes Inherit the Wind and Translations on Broadway; Hughie at Trinity Repertory; Peter Brooks’ The Cherry Orchard at Brooklyn Academy of Music; Trumbo Off-Broadway and on tour; Rat in the Skull; Says I, Says He at the Mark Taper Forum and NY’s Phoenix Theatre; The Exonerated Off-Broadway, on tour and in the Court TV film version directed by Bob Balaban. Dennehy has been associated for two decades with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, where he has starred in numerous leading roles. His extensive film work includes “Semi-Tough,” “Foul Play,” Blake Edwards’ “10,” “First Blood,” “Cocoon,” “F/X,” “Presumed Innocent,” “Tommy Boy,” Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet,” “Gorky Park,” “Silverado,” “Best Seller,” “The Belly of an Architect” (Best Actor Chicago Film Festival), Spike Lee’s “She Hate Me,” “Ratatouille” and “10th & Wolf.” On television Dennehy received Emmy Award nominations for his performances in “The Burden of Proof,” “Murder in the Heartland,” “To Catch a Killer” and “Killing in a Small Town.” He anchored a successful series of telefilms as Jack Reed for NBC throughout the 1990’s, and directed and starred in “Shadow of a Doubt” and “Indefensible.”
Recently appeared in Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Encores revival of Little Shop of Horrors. Broadway shows include Dinner at Eight, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The 1940’s Radio Hour and Happy End. Off-B’way: The Boys Next Door (Drama Desk Award), Says I Says He and A Memory of Two Mondays. Long Wharf: Hughie and Privates on Parade. Other credits: Once in a Lifetime and Room Service (Williamstown), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Yale Rep). Directing credits include One Slight Hitch by Lewis Black, A Cup of Coffee by Preston Sturges, Heaven Can Wait and Triangles for Two (Westport Playhouse). Joe has appeared in over fifty feature films including, “Presumed Innocent,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Beaches,” “Naked Gun,” “Benny & Joon,” “Matewan,” “FX” and “Natural Born Killers.” TV appearances include “Bull,” “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order,” “Rosanne” and “LA Law.” He is on the faculty of The New School in New York.
Samuel Barclay Beckett (April 13, 1906 – December 22, 1989) was an Irish avant-garde and absurdist playwright, novelist, poet and theater director. His writings, both in English and French, provide bleak yet darkly comedic ruminations on the human condition. He is often considered one of the last modernists, at the same time as being one of the first post-modernists. He was a main writer in what the critic, Martin Esslin, termed the “Theater of the Absurd.” The works associated with this movement shares the belief that human existence has neither meaning nor purpose, and ultimately communication breaks down, often in the manner of black comedy. Beckett studied French, Italian and English at Trinity College in Dublin from 1923-1927, whereupon graduating he took up a teaching post in Paris. While in Paris, he met the Irish novelist James Joyce, who became an inspiration and mentor to the young Beckett. He published his first work, a critical essay endorsing Joyce’s work entitled “Dante…Bruno. Vico…Joyce” in 1929. He continued to write and publish many essays and reviews throughout the 1930s. Throughout the 1940s, during and after his involvement with the French Resistance, he continued to write novels and began writing his most famous play, Waiting for Godot, in October 1948. The critical and commercial success of Waiting for Godot opened up the door of a playwriting career for Beckett. He wrote many other well-known plays, including Endgame (1957), Krapp’s Last Tape (1958), Happy Days (1961) and Play (1963). Beckett is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century and was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature. He died on December 22, 1989, of complications from emphysema and possibly Parkinson’s disease five months after his wife, Suzanne. The two are interred together in Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.
Mr. Edelstein is in his 14th season as Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre. His most recent Long Wharf Theatre credits include The Second Mrs. Wilson, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Our Town, The Last Five Years, The Shadow of the Hummingbird, The Underpants, Ride the Tiger, Curse of the Starving Class, Satchmo at the Waldorf, My Name is Asher Lev, Shirley Valentine, and his own adaptations of A Doll’s House and Uncle Vanya. His acclaimed Long Wharf Theatre production of The Glass Menagerie played at Roundabout Theatre Company and the Mark Taper Forum and was the recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival. He has a continued artistic association with Athol Fugard, directing the world premieres of The Shadow of the Hummingbird, Have You Seen Us?, and Coming Home as well as the East Coast premiere of The Train Driver. Edelstein most recently directed Audra McDonald in A Moon for the Misbegotten at Williamstown Theatre Festival, as well as the Off Broadway production of Satchmo at the Waldorf starring John Douglas Thompson at Westside Theatre. His New York City production of My Name is Asher Lev won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play. He also directed the Broadway production of Fugard’s The Road to Mecca for Roundabout Theatre Company. Among Edelstein’s countless plays and workshops for Long Wharf Theatre are BFE, The Day the Bronx Died, A Dance Lesson, The Times, The Blue Album, We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!, A New War, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Anna Christie, The Front Page, and Mourning Becomes Electra. As a director of an extremely diverse body of work, Edelstein has garnered three Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, and under his artistic leadership, Long Wharf Theatre has received 17 additional Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, including six Outstanding Actor or Actress Awards in plays that he directed. He is also the recipient of the organization’s Tom Killen Award, given annually to an individual who has made an indelible impact on the Connecticut theatrical landscape.