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Feb. 16, 2005

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell University department of theatre and dance will present "Sam2," short plays by Samuel Beckett and Sam Shepard, Feb. 18-21, at 8 p.m. in the Harvey Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall.

Gary Grant, associate professor of theatre arts and department chair who directs the performance, says of the works, "The language used by Beckett and Shepard combines a poetic, imagistic prose and a dynamic language of the stage (vocal and physical gestures, entrances and exits, even the theatre house itself) to powerfully communicate the extreme states of consciousness that mark the contemporary human condition.

"These two masters of theatrical language give voice to society's outsiders: spiritually maimed men and women reeling and disoriented at the end of WWII and the Vietnam War. At the end of their tethers, these characters search memory and perception for some meaningful moment.

According to Grant, the program presents a chronology of Beckett's short plays written after the international success of Waiting for Godot in 1953: Act Without Words II, a mime piece for two players exploring the repetition of banality as the sum total of human endeavor; Come and Go relates three women's journey from and to eternal darkness; Rough for the Theatre II, a theatrical sketch of chance meeting between a blind man and a cripple; and Catastrophe, Beckett's next to last work for the stage which is dedicated to Vaclav Havel, the dissident Czech playwright and first president of the new republic.

The program also includes Shepard's Action, a look at his homeland from a self-imposed exile where his characters are alienated in an undefined wasteland and survive through routine chores.

"Reminiscent of Waiting for Godot, Shepard maroons the characters in Action in some undefined wasteland where they survive by reading, performing daily chores and defining themselves in nonstop, stream-of-consciousness talking.

"In this winter season, the going and coming, in and out of doors, takes on a routine," says Grant. "In our evening of short plays, we hope that the characters' similarly banal and familiar repetitions will take on mystery and strangeness."

Tickets are $6 for general admission, $4 for senior citizens or educational groups, and can be purchased at the Bucknell Weis Center Box Office at 570-577-1000 or at the door one hour prior to each performance.



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