Krapp’s Last Tape

Paul Gerrior in Krapp's Last Tape photo by Rob Melrose
Paul Gerrior in Krapp's Last Tape photo by Rob Melrose

by Samuel Beckett
directed by Rob Melrose
May 22 – June 21 2009

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 recently 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.

Krapp's Last Tape was produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc

CUTTING BALL THEATER CLOSES NINTH SEASON WITH RARE SAMUEL
BECKETT GEM

“KRAPP’S LAST TAPE”

May 22 – June 21, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (April 16, 2009) – San Francisco’s
cutting-edge Cutting Ball Theater closes its 2008-09 season with one of Samuel
Beckett’s funniest and most personal works for the stage, KRAPP’S LAST TAPE.
Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose helms this witty, poignant look at
the choices one man makes and how the paths left untaken come back to haunt him.
Starring Paul Gerrior and David Sinaiko, who were featured in the company’s
critically acclaimed production of Beckett’s Endgame (Bay Area Critics
Circle nominee for Best Production and Best Ensemble), KRAPP’S LAST TAPE
plays May 22 through June 21 (Press opening: Sunday, May 24) at the Cutting
Ball Theater in residence at Exit on Taylor (277 Taylor Street) in San
Francisco. For tickets ($15-30) and more information, the public may visit cuttingball.com
or call 800-838-3006.

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 an intimate
glimpse at where things might have gone.

“I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to direct
three of Beckett’s plays in the last two years: Endgame at Cutting Ball,
Happy Days at the Guthrie, and now Krapp’s Last Tape to finish Cutting
Ball’s ninth season,” said Cutting Ball Theater Artistic Director Rob Melrose.
“It has been a wonderful experience, having spent the past two years immersed
in his work, as Beckett’s is an interesting world. For me the most fascinating
aspect of Krapp’s Last Tape is that of looking at a younger version of oneself
and barely recognizing that person at all. In Krapp’s Last Tape, the 69
year-old Krapp listens to a tape made by a 39 year-old Krapp who has just in turn
listened to a tape made by a 29 year-old Krapp. In each case, the older Krapp
can’t believe how deluded the younger Krapp was. How many of us have
experienced this feeling, yet, how many of us wouldn’t love to go back and
experience a moment from our youth again? It is this tension that is so
brilliantly explored by Beckett that makes Krapp’s Last Tape such a remarkable,
poignant, and utterly human play.”

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 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.

Artistic Director and co-founder of Cutting Ball Theater Rob
Melrose 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 directing credits include productions at the 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 currently a 2007 – 2009 recipient of the NEA/TCG
Career Development Program for Directors.

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. Cutting Ball Theater has partnered with
Playwrights Foundation, Magic Theatre, and Z Space New Plays Initiative to commission
new experimental works, including Bone to Pick by Eugenie Chan. The Cuttingball
has produced a number of World Premieres and 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.

FOR CALENDAR EDITORS:

WHAT:
San Francisco’s cutting-edge Cutting Ball Theater closes its 2008-09 mainstage
season with one of Samuel Beckett’s funniest and most ironically chilling works
for the stage, KRAPP’S LAST TAPE. 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 in the choices
he made in light of his current situation. KRAPP’S LAST TAPE premiered as a
curtain raiser to Endgame in 1958 and was originally written for Irish actor
Patrick Magee. Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose helms this intimate
look at the choices we make and the unexpected consequences that result,
starring Paul Gerrior as Krapp and David Sinaiko as Krapp’s tape-recorded
voice, both of whom were featured in the company’s critically acclaimed production
of Beckett’s Endgame (Bay Area Critics Circle nominee for Best Production and
Best Ensemble).

WHEN:
Previews: May 22 and 23 at 8pm
Opens: May 24 at 5pm
Press opening: Sunday, May 24 at 5pm
Closes: June 21 at 5pm
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 digital photos can be found at
www.cuttingball.com/press.php

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

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

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