Theater: “Beckett Shorts” @ Skidmore’s Tang Museum, 11/11-13/10
The shorts works of playwright Samuel Beckett are jewels – diamond-hard, to be sure, but also brilliant. So it’s stroke of genius to perform a handful of those plays in and around The Jewel Thief exhibition in the Tang Museum’s large gallery and spacious lobby.
Directed by Carolyn Anderson (Skidmore theater faculty member and Capital Rep’s touring program director) with production design by Garett E. Wilson (Lake George Opera Festival, Yale Repertory, Berkshire Theater Festival), “Beckett Shorts” features performances of “Cyclicality: Inspired by Beckett’s Quad,” “Footfalls,” “Come And Go,” “Breath,” “What Where,” “Radio I,” “Catastrophe” and “Quad,” all written between 1961 and 1982.
The clever staging – utilizing stark and simple presentations – shifts between areas in and around the abstract art and sculpture of The Jewel Thief, a group exhibition showcasing the work of more than 60 artists. The theatrical abstraction of Beckett’s plays merge with the greater exhibit’s goal to explore and experience abstract art. The audience participates by moving from one area to another, following the action to witness each individual performance of the program.
A co-production of Skidmore College’s Theater Department and the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, “Beckett Shorts” is a marvelous merging of the vision of director Anderson, designer Wilson and the Tang’s associate director of curatorial affairs, Ian Berry.
Story and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
“Beckett Shorts” will be performed tonight (Thursday, November 11) at 8:30 and 10pm, as well as 8:30pm on Friday and Saturday at the Tang Museum on the campus of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. The performance runs about an hour and 15 minutes. Tix are free, but reservations are required through the Theater Box Office by phone 518.580.5439 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.