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Transcript
Helene Davis Public Relations: 212-920-5477
Helene@helenedavispr.com
Presents
LisaDwanin
HerFinalPerformancesoftheInternationallyAcclaimed
BeckettTrilogy:
NotI/Footfalls/Rockaby
APRIL13–17,2016
OpeningNighttoHonorSamuelBeckett’s110Birthday
NewYork,NY,March1,2016-NYUSkirballCenterforthePerformingArtswillpresentIrishactressLisa
DwaninherinternationallyacclaimedBeckettTrilogy:Not/Footfalls/Rockaby,runningforsix
performancesfromApril13–17,2016,atNYUSkirballCenter.BeckettTrilogywillopenonApril13,the
110thAnniversaryofSamuelBeckett’sbirth,andtheopeningnightperformanceswillfeatureapost-show
celebrationandconversationhonoringBeckett’slegacy.
DwanhasbecomeworldfamousintherecentpastperformingtheworksofSamuelBeckett.Hertrilogyof
one-womanBeckettplayshassoldoutallovertheworld,fromLondon’sWestEndtoHongKong,Paris,
Belfast,CambridgeandNewYork,whereshewasdescribedbyBenBrantleyinTheNewYorkTimesas“an
instrumentofBeckett,inthatwaysaintsandmartyrsaresaidtobeinstrumentsofGod.”These
performanceswillbethelasttimeDwanwillperformTheBeckettTrilogy.
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DwanhadbeenperformingNotIsince2005,directedbyNatalieAbrahami.TheTimesofLondonsaidDwan
“turnedwhatiscommonlyregardedasthehardestroleanactorcantackleintoatourdeforce.”Dwanwas
thenspeciallycoachedbythelateactressBillieWhitelawintoNotI.Whitelaw,whodiedlastyear,waslong
consideredBeckett’sownmuseandhadbeencoachedintothepartbyBecketthimself.
TheprogramiscompletedwithtwootherBeckettclassics:FootfallsandRockaby,directedbyBeckett’s
closefriend,assistant,favoritedirectorandlong-timecollaboratorWalterAsmus,whosuggestedthat
theseplayscouldbeperformedasasingleprogram.
InJanuary2014,DwanperformedtheminacriticallyacclaimedsoldoutengagementattheRoyalCourt
TheatreinLondon,wherefortyyearspreviouslyNotIhaditsUKpremiere.Thiswasfollowedbyatransfer
totheWestEndandtheinternationaltourthatincludedsold-outperformancesatBAMin2014.The
productionhasearnedthemostextraordinaryreviewsandsoldouteveryvenueshehasplayedaroundthe
world.
LisaDwantalksaboutBeckettTrilogy
LisaDwansaid,“ThisislateBeckett.Hedistilledanddistilledandparedawayallthefatandyouareleft
withsomethingverypotent.Intheseplays,Iplaywombtotomb,acountry,acontinent;Itravelvast
differencesofage.Ithinkhegetscloserwritingasortoftruthaboutthehumancondition,ourfrailty,our
humanity.Andtoanactor,heoffersthemostexpansivelandscapeyoucouldeverimagine.Whatother
authorwouldaskthatmuchofme?Theseperformancessellout--andIamamazedthataquartercentury
afterhisdeaththatthereisagreathungertohearthiswork.”
NotIisanintensemonologue,setinapitch-blackspacelitbyasinglebeamoflight.Adisembodiedfemale
mouthfloatseightfeetabovethestageanddeliversastreamofconsciousness,spoken,asBeckettdirected,
atthespeedofthought“toplayonthenervesoftheaudience,nottheintellect,”saidDwan.Itcannotbe
performedfastenough.ForWhitelawthespeedofthoughtwas14minutes;forDwanthespeedof
thoughtisnineminutes.
“WhenImetBillieWhitelawwegreetedeachotheraslonglostwarwarriors.Neitherofushadmet
anotheractorwhohadplayedtherole.AboutayearlatersheaskedmeifIcouldcomearound.‘Iwantto
giveyouhisnotes;Ineedtogiveyouhisnotes.’Ifullyexpectedhertotakeoutarehearsalmanuscriptwith
hishandwriting–butinsteadsheaskedmetositdownatthekitchentable.Sheinstructedmetobegin–
andthenshebegantoconductme,justasBecketthadconductedher,acrossakitchentable.”
FootfallsfeaturesthecharacterMay,wrappedintatters,pacingbackandforthlikeametronome,ona
stripofbarelandingoutsideherdyingmother’sroom.FootfallswasfirstperformedbyBillieWhitelaw,for
whomthepiecehadbeenwritten,attheRoyalCourtTheatre,aspartofthe1976SamuelBeckettFestival,
directedbyBeckett.Dwan’sperformanceisthefirsttimetheBeckettEstatehasletoneactressplayboth
roles(motheroffstageandMayonstage).
RockabyisconsideredoneofthemostfamousofBeckett’slastworks.Itexploreslonelinessandfeaturesa
prematurelyoldwomandressedinaneveninggown,sittingonawoodenrockingchairthatappearstorock
ofitsownaccord.RockabywasfirstperformedinNewYorkin1980starringBillieWhitelawandthenatthe
NationalTheatrein1981.
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TheCriticstalkaboutBeckettTrilogy
AnthonyLanesaidinTheNewYorker,"Beckettwasnevermorepotentthanwhenwritingforonewoman,
aloneordesolateonstage,andDwan,stillinherthirties,istheforemostinheritorofthatpower."
BenBrantleysaidinTheNewYorkTimes,“Adeeplysoberingandequallyintoxicatingexperience.Youwill
probablyneverhaveanotherchancetoseethesedifficultbutprofoundlyaccessiblelateworksfroma
masterembodiedasperfectlyastheyarehere…[This]astonishingactress…doesn’tjustuncoverlayers;
shedigsallthewaytothevoidbeneaththem.Yes,shespeaksBeckett’stextlikeaviolinvirtuosoplaying
Paganini.Butshealsolistens—andinsiststhatwelisten—tothequietthatsurroundsthem.”
PaulLevy,writingintheWallStreetJournalsaid,“Oneofthetheatricalexperiencesofalifetime.”
LynGardnersaidinTheGuardian,“Itisanextraordinaryexperience,completelyimmersive,which
demandsmuchofDwanandtheaudience,too…wewalkoutoftheatreknowingwe'vebeengivenone
morechancetolive.”
FintanO’Toole,writingintheIrishTimesReview,said,“Youwillseldomseeinanyartformsuchaperfect
balancebetweenprofoundrespectforatraditionontheonesideandurgentinventionontheother.”
AboutTheArtists
LisaDwanisaproducer,performer,anddirector.HavingtrainedintheUKasaballetdancer,including
dancingwithRudolfNureyevinCoppeliainDublin,shebeganactingprofessionallyinherteens.Shehas
workedextensivelyintheater,filmandtelevision,bothinternationallyandinhernativeIreland.Most
recentlyshehasperformedherownselloutadaptationofSamuelBeckett’sTextforNothing,entitledNO’s
KnifeattheLincolnCenterinNewYork.
In2012,sheadapted,produced,andperformedthecriticallyacclaimedone-womanplayBesidetheSeain
theU.K.,andstarredinGoranBregovic’snewmusicdrama,Margot,DiaryofanUnhappyQueenatthe
BarbicaninLondon.RecenttheatercreditsalsoincludeIllusionsbyIvanViripaevattheBushTheatreand
DearBessie:LettersLivewithBenedictCumberbatch(HayFestivalandWestEnd).Dwanwrites,presents,
lecturesandteachesregularlyontheater,culture,andBeckett.Shehasbeencommissionedtowriteabook
onBeckettforVirago,andproduceandpresentaBBCRadio4pieceonDante.
Sheiscurrentlyartist-in-residenceatNYUSchoolforArtsandBalletandhasbeeninvitedtobeArtistin
Residence-in-PrincetonUniversityinspring2017.InSeptember2016shewillpresentaworldpremiereofa
newSamuelBeckettone-womanproductionattheOldVicTheatreLondon.
DirectorWalterAsmuswasBeckett’slongtimefriendandcollaborator,assistinghimonmanyofhis
productionsattheSchillerTheatreinBerlinandforTVinStuttgart.HisproductionofWaitingforGodot
touredinternationally,includinga2008aonenight-onlytourofthe32countiesofIreland,wasoften
describedasthe“definitiveproduction.”
SamuelBeckett(1906–1989),oneofthemostinfluentialandimportantwritersofthetwentiethcentury,
isconsideredoneofthelastmodernistwriters,andoneofthekeyfiguresintheTheatreoftheAbsurd
movement.Beckett'sworkoftenfocusedontheabsurdityofhumanexistence;hismanyplays,
novels,essaysandpoemsincludeWaitingforGodot,Endgame,HappyDaysandKrapp’sLastTape.Hewas
awardedthe1969NobelPrizeinLiterature.
3
ClicklinkforapreviewofLisaDwaninNotI:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4qaRp4t4jg
BeckettTrilogyisaLisaDwanProductioninAssociationwithArKtype/ThomasO,Kriegsmann.Beckett
Trilogywasoriginallyco-producedwiththeRoyalCourtTheatreinassociationwithCusackProjectsLimited.
NYUSkirballCenterforthePerformingArtsisthepremiervenueforthepresentationofculturaland
performingartseventsforNewYorkUniversityandlowerManhattan.TheNYUSkirballmissionisto
showcaseandsupportdiverseandeclectictalentfromaroundtheworld,whilecultivatingaudiencesfor
liveperformancethroughdeeperengagementopportunities.Formoreinformationvisit:
www.nyuskirball.org.
NotI,FootfallsandRockabywillplayforsixperformances,April13-17,2016asfollows:April13–16at
8pm;April16at2pm;andApril17at3pm.Ticketsare$25-$65.Allticketsmaybepurchasedonlineat
www.nyuskirball.org,byphoneat212.998.4941,orinpersonattheNYUSkirballCenterBoxOffice:
Tuesday-Saturday,12:00–6:00P.M.NYUSkirballCenterforthePerformingArtsislocatedat566LaGuardia
PlaceatWashingtonSquare,NewYork,NewYork10012.
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