Krapp’s Last Tape

KLT-ROTATOR3by Samuel Beckett
directed by Rob Melrose
June 4 – July 3, 2010
Press Opening June 10
10th Anniversary Gala Opening June 11

This funny and poignant one-person play tells the story of an older man listening to recordings he made when he was young and in love. It is an intimate look at the choices we make in our lives and the unexpected consequences that come from them.

Our production will feature two actors from our critically acclaimed production of Endgame which was nominated by the Bay Area Critics Circle for Best Production of 2008. Paul Gerrior will play Krapp and David Sinaiko will play Krapp’s recorded voice from thirty years ago. Gerrior also won the Dean Goodman award for his work in Cutting Ball’s 2002 production of Roberto Zucco.

"To watch Gerrior's quietly mesmerizing performance is a revelation."
-Jean Schiffman, The Examiner

"I read Krapp's Last Tape in high school and didn't connect to it at first. I much preferred Endgame and Waiting for Godot. At the same time, it is hard to expect a high school student to connect to a play about a 69-year-old man listening to a tape he made when he was 39. For me, the most fascinating experience of Krapp's Last Tape is that of looking at a younger version of oneself and barely recognizing it at all. In Krapp's Last Tape, this is triply layered because the 69-year old Krapp listens to a tape made by a 39-year old Krapp who has just listened to a tape made by a 29-year-old Krapp. In each case, the older Krapp can't believe how stupid and deluded the younger Krapp was. How many of us have experienced this feeling? And at the same time, as dumb and naive as we were, how many of us wouldn't love to go back and experience a moment from our youth again? It is this tension, so brilliantly explored by Beckett, that makes Krapp's Last Tape such a remarkable, poignant, and utterly human play." – Rob Melrose

Paul Gerrior (Krapp) has appeared in Cutting Ball’s productions of Endgame, Robert Zucco, and As You Like It, as well as the workshop production of Trevor Allen’s Chain Reactions for Risk is This…The Cutting Ball New Experimental Plays Festival, The Magnetism of the Heart for the Hidden Classics Reading Series, and most recently Cutting Ball’s Open Process workshop of Pelléas and Mélisande and Medea vs. Medea. Other credits include Othello with Guerilla Shakes and Chain Reactions with C.A.F.E. His film credits include The Seagull Project and Saloon Song. Originally from Boston, Paul moved to the Bay Area forty years ago.

[nggallery id=26]
Raves for Krapp's Last Tape"In Cutting Ball artistic director Rob Melrose's sensitive production, the ears, not the eyes, serve as pathways to the soul."
–Chloe Veltman, SF Weekly
"Paul Gerrior is a pitch-perfect Krapp."
–Chad Jones, Theater Dogs

"Artistic director Rob Melrose approaches the material with supreme assurance and passionate but never stifling fidelity. David Sinaiko provides the recorded voice of the younger Krapp, expertly balancing a passion and unselfconscious pomposity that has Gerrior's Krapp alternately bemused, euphoric, and wincing through one of Beckett's most autobiographical and surprisingly affirming pieces. Melrose's choice use of scenic elements, meanwhile, including the palpably solid 1950s-era tape machine, places Gerrior (suitably odd and natty in costumer Maggie Whitaker's dapper vest, high-water trousers and white shoes) in a kind of communion with the reel and the real—an affecting and quietly unsettling relationship."
–Robert Avila, SF Bay Guardian

"FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating)"
–Lee Hartgrave, Beyond Chron

"To watch Gerrior’s quietly mesmerizing performance is a revelation."
–Jean Schiffman, The Examiner

"Poignant and human, indeed."
–George Heymont, My Cultural Landscape


"A fascinating piece of theater…utterly entrancing."
–Arielle Little, The Daily Cal

"I thank Cutting Ball for the opportunity to see Beckett played with such brilliant sensitivity coupled with humor and pathos. Keep your eye on Cutting Ball’s 2009-2010 season."
–Jim Strope, examiner.com

"Here, through the power of breath and visual storytelling, Gerrior conveys a life long-lived, and solitarily lived, perhaps better than any monologue could."
–Lily Janiak – SF Bay Times

Click here to read the San Francisco Chronicle's interview with Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose

CUTTING BALL THEATER CLOSES 10TH SEASON

WITH ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION OF RARE SAMUEL BECKETT GEM

“KRAPP’S LAST TAPE”

June 4-July 3, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (April xx, 2010) San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theater closes its 10th season with a reprisal of one of Samuel Beckett’s funniest and most ironically chilling works for the stage, KRAPP’S LAST TAPE. A hit with critics and audiences alike last season, KRAPP’S LAST TAPE replaces the previously announced one-woman plays BONE TO PICK and World Premiere companion piece DIADEM by Eugenie Chan, featuring actress Paige Rogers; these two original works are postponed due to illness. KRAPP’S LAST TAPE plays June 4 through July 3 (Press opening: June 10) at the Cutting Ball Theater in residence at EXIT on Taylor (277 Taylor Street) in San Francisco. Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose helms this intimate look at the choices we make and the unexpected consequences that result, starring Paul Gerrior, who reprises his critically acclaimed title role, and David Sinaiko. For tickets ($15-30) and more information, the public may visit cuttingball.com or call 800-838-3006.

“I am very sorry to announce that I will not be able to perform in Eugenie Chan’s plays BONE TO PICK and DIADEM at Cutting Ball Theater this season. In their place, we have decided to remount one of the standout productions from last season, KRAPP’S LAST TAPE,” said Paige Rogers, Cutting Ball Associate Artistic Director. “ I have been fighting extreme vertigo for over six weeks and, on the recommendation of my doctors, need to focus on finding a solution to this health problem. Rest assured, Cutting Ball will present these two beautiful plays in a future season when my health is restored to normal. Eugenie is 100% behind this decision. Thanks for your understanding.”

About Cutting Ball’s production of KRAPP’S LAST TAPE, the San Francisco Bay Guardian noted “Artistic director Rob Melrose approaches the material with supreme assurance and passionate but never stifling fidelity…one of Beckett’s most autobiographical and surprisingly affirming pieces,” while SF Weekly said “In Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose’s sensitive production, the ears, not the eyes, serve as pathways to the soul.” The San Francisco Examiner declared, “To watch [Paul] Gerrior’s quietly mesmerizing performance is a revelation,” with Theater Dogs concurring, “Paul Gerrior is a pitch-perfect Krapp.” The Daily Californian called the production “A fascinating piece of theater…utterly entrancing.”

It is Krapp’s 69th birthday and, as has become his custom, he hauls out his old tape recorder to review one of the earlier years – in this case, the recording he made when he turned 39. As he looks back with longing on the ashes of his youth, he sees the irony of the choices he has made in light of his current life. Exploring the isolated nature of human existence, KRAPP’S LAST TAPE premiered as a curtain raiser to Endgame in 1958 and was originally written for Irish actor Patrick Magee. The play is considered to be Beckett at his most autobiographical, drawing heavily on his own failed love life, his drinking, and his, at the time, literary failures; it is a glimpse at where things might have gone.

Veteran stage and screen actor Paul Gerrior returns to Cutting Ball Theater as Krapp in KRAPP’S LAST TAPE. He previously appeared in Cutting Ball’s productions of Beckett’s Endgame, Roberto Zucco, and As You Like It, as well as the workshop production of Trevor Allen’s Chain Reactions for Risk is This…The Cutting Ball New Experimental Plays Festival. Other credits include Othello with Guerrilla Shakespeare and Chain Reactions with C.A.F.E. His film credits include The Seagull Project and Saloon Song.

David Sinaiko returns to the Cutting Ball Theater as the tape-recorded voice of Krapp. He most recently appeared in Cutting Ball’s productions of The Bald Soprano, Victims of Duty and Endgame, as well as The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, The Sandalwood Box, Ajax, for Instance, Macbeth, and Woyzeck, among others. Additional credits include productions at the Goodman Theatre and The Actor’s Gang; he is a founding member of Chicago’s New Crime Productions.

In addition to KRAPP’S LAST TAPE, Rob Melrose, Artistic Director and co-founder of Cutting Ball Theater, has directed several productions for the company, including Victims of Duty, Avant GardARAMA!, Endgame, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Hamletmachine, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Mayakovsky: A Tragedy, Roberto Zucco, The Vomit Talk of Ghosts (World Premiere), The Sandalwood Box, Pickling, Ajax, for Instance, Helen of Troy (World Premiere), and Drowning Room (World Premiere). Additionally, he has translated No Exit, Woyzeck, Pelléas and Mélisande, and Ubu Roi. Melrose’s other directing credits include productions at the Magic Theatre (An Accident), Guthrie Theater (Happy Days, Pen), California Shakespeare Theater (Villains, Fools, and Lovers), and Crowded Fire (The Train Play), among others. He has assistant directed productions at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival (Hamlet, Oskar Eustis, director), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (The Pillowman, Les Waters, director), American Conservatory Theater (Indian Ink, Carey Perloff, director), Guthrie Theater (Othello, Joe Dowling, director), and Yale Repertory Theatre (Twelfth Night, Mark Rucker, director). He is a recipient of the NEA / TCG Career Development Program for Directors, and is currently the Public Theater’s artist in residence at Stanford University.

Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish dramatist, novelist and poet. He is considered by many to be one of the last modernists. As an inspiration to many later writers, he is thought to be one of the first postmodernists. Considered to be one of the key writers in the “Theatre of the Absurd,” his works were minimalistic and, according to some interpretations, deeply pessimistic about the human condition. Beckett’s perceived pessimism (mitigated by an often wicked sense of humor) was not so much for the human condition, but for that of established cultural and societal structures. In addition to prose, poetry, teleplays, and pieces written for the radio, Beckett’s body of works for the stage include Waiting for Godot (1952); Act Without Words I (1956); Act Without Words II (1956); Endgame (1957); KRAPP’S LAST TAPE (1958); Rough for Theatre I (late 1950s); Rough for Theatre II (late 1950s); Happy Days (1960); Play (1963); Come and Go (1965); Breath (1969); Not I (1972); That Time (1975); Footfalls (1975); A Piece of Monologue (1980); Rockaby (1981); Ohio Impromptu (1981); Catastrophe (1982); and What Where (1983). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969.

Co-founded in 1999 by theater artists Rob Melrose and Paige Rogers, Cutting Ball Theater presents avant-garde works of the past, present, and future by re-envisioning classics, exploring seminal avant-garde texts, and developing new experimental plays. In addition to Playwrights Foundation, Cutting Ball Theater has partnered with the Magic Theatre and Z Space New Plays Initiative to commission newexperimental works. The company has produced a number of World Premieres, West Coast Premieres, and re-imagined various classics. Recipient of the 2008 San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie award for outstanding talent in the performing arts, Cutting Ball Theater earned the Best of SF award in 2006 from SF Weekly and was selected by San Francisco Magazine as Best Classic Theater in 2007. Cutting Ball Theater was recently featured in the February 2010 issue of American Theatre Magazine.

FOR
CALENDAR EDITORS:

WHAT:

San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theater closes its 10th season with a reprisal of one of Samuel Beckett’s funniest and most ironically chilling works for the stage, KRAPP’S LAST TAPE. A hit with critics and audiences alike last season, KRAPP’S LAST TAPE replaces the previously announced one-woman plays BONE TO PICK and World Premiere companion piece DIADEM by Eugenie Chan, featuring actress Paige Rogers; these two original works are postponed due to illness. Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose helms KRAPP’S LAST TAPE, an intimate look at the choices we make and the unexpected consequences that result, starring Paul Gerrior, who reprises his critically acclaimed title role, and David Sinaiko.

WHEN:

Previews: June 4 and 5, at 8pm, June 6 at 5pm

Opens: June 10 at 8pm

(Press opening: Thursday, June 10, 8pm; Gala Opening: Friday, June 11, 8pm)

Closes: July 3

All performances Thursday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 5pm

WHERE:

The Cutting Ball Theater in residence at EXIT on Taylor, 277 Taylor St., San Francisco

TICKETS:

For tickets ($15-30) and more information, the public may visit cuttingball.com or call

800-838-3006; discounts available for students and seniors

PHOTOS:

High-resolution art digital art for KRAPP’S LAST TAPE can be accessed at

http://cuttingball.com/press/

Krapp’s Last Tape is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.