The Center for Studies in Beckett and Contemporary Theatre Practice in the School of the Arts at Colorado State University is honored to present the world’s first bilingual staging of Samuel Beckett’s play "Catastrophe." "Catastrophe" is Beckett’s most political play, addressing issues of authoritarianism, torture and abuse, and the resilience of the human spirit. With compelling power and simplicity and all in less than fifteen minutes, it is a clever stage parable that ridicules totalitarian behaviors as it highlights the dignity of the oppressed.
Performances take place in the Studio Theatre at the University Center for the Arts at 1400 Remington St. on Sept. 26, 27, 28, and 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $11 for the public and $7 for Colorado State students and may be purchased through the Campus Box Office in person at the Lory Student Center, by phone at (970) 491-4TIX, or online at www.csutix.com.
This is the first production of Beckett’s work for a Hispanic audience in Fort Collins and Colorado and is the first bilingual staging of "Catastrophe" and "Catstrofe" worldwide. The play has been translated into Spanish by Colorado State professor Jos? Luis Surez-Garc?a and will be staged as two back to back presentations: one in English and one in Spanish, under the direction of Beckett scholar and CSU theatre professor Eric Prince. There will be two distinct casts, featuring experienced Fort Collins-based Latino actor and artist Sam Salas and presenting, from Galicia in Spain, Patricia Pineiro and CSU student performers Gian Aparicio of Peru, Chibuzo Ihekweazu and Lucas Sweet.
Each performance will have provocatively contrasting approaches and a dynamic sound and slide collage of some 150 remarkable images from the plays of Beckett. With additional music from acclaimed local singer and songwriter Barbara Clark, it promises to be a memorable cross-cultural evening of theatre, music, image, discussion and political insight in a unique artistic collaboration. Performances will be followed by discussions where the audience can express their thoughts and feelings about the issues raised by the play and pose questions to the directors and actors.
Samuel Beckett wrote "Catastrophe" in French in 1982 in support of the imprisoned dissident Czech playwright Vaclav Havel, who later became the democratically elected president of his country. Havel remarked that Beckett’s personal gesture, as a fellow artist, moved him deeply and gave him sustenance and strength in the isolation and degradation of his time in prison.
The play provides a singular stage image: the actor as a puppet of a director’s will – the passive individual as slave to the controlling individual or power. It articulates totalitarian control as a process in a shadowy world of politicized art-making.
"The play speaks to us now, even more forcefully, in the midst of war and atrocity, in these current times of ideological distrust, with suspicion and ignorance of cultural difference fostered by misinformation and media distortion. In its own clear stark way the play presents a stripped down unambiguous metaphor of the violation of human rights – and a surprising parallel between the condition of art and the condition of politics," Prince said.
In addition to the performances at the University Center for the Arts, the play can be seen at Colorado State’s 7th Annual Diversity Conference, "Diversity in the 21st Century: National and Global Dimensions" on Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. in the Lory Student Center. The play will be staged for a Denver audience at El Centro Su Teatro on Oct. 7 at 8 p.m., at the invitation of Tony Garcia, as well as at Bas Bleu Theatre in Fort Collins on Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. at the invitation of Wendy Ishii.
This special project is made possible by support from the College of Liberal Arts Academic Enrichment Program, by the CSU Theatre program, and by El Centro Student Services.
Due to the intimate nature of the performance space, advance purchase is highly recommended, though tickets are also available at the door one hour before performances begin if seats are still available. For a full performance and event calendar, more information, or to sign up for a free event e-newsletter, visit www.CSUSchooloftheArts.com.
The School of the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society. For more information, visit www.CSUSchooloftheArts.com.