By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief

South students described Samuel Beckett’s works as “ambiguous,” “anxious” and “uncomfortable,” but they’re excited to give audiences a different theater experience when they bring four of the writer’s plays to life in beckett April 5-7.

Richie Haratine, South theater and film instructor, will direct the production which will feature four of Beckett’s plays, “Breathe,” “Come and Go,” “Footfalls” and “Rockaby.”

“I picked Beckett’s works because he’s not done a lot and I wanted to expose and challenge the audiences and the students with his work,” Haratine said. “It’s provocative. It’s interesting. It’s rather simplistic, absurdist theatre.”

Absurdist theater means what the audience sees isn’t how people typically talk, move or engage with each other, and it turns reality on its head, Haratine said.

beckett will open with “Breathe” followed by “Rockaby” then “Come and Go” then “Footfalls” and close with “Breathe” again. Haratine structured the production like this to create a slow progression and a mini “ebb and flow” to the show, he said.

“‘Breathe’ is a quiet piece where there’s no talking, really,” he said. “Then we introduce a single character with a voice and then we introduce three characters with a voice and then we taper back down to one character and then no people at all.”

South student Kristen Clay, who plays Vi in “Come and Go” and May in “Footfalls,” said none of the works have to do with each other.

South student Angelica Mora, who plays Ru in “Come and Go,” said the pieces can be unnerving.

“The whole point of beckett are the long pauses and the silences. It’s meant to be uncomfortable,” she said. “Being uncomfortable was something I had to get used to for this.”

South student Kristen Clay practices her footwalks for her scene in “Footfalls” during a rehearsal March 29.
South student Kristen Clay practices her footwalks for her scene in “Footfalls” during a rehearsal March 29.
Photos by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

All four cast members said being in the production has challenged them in different ways.

South student Shania Boo’ty, who plays the voice in “Rockaby” and Flo in “Come and Go,” said she had to work on being more calm to make sure she was able to get their “foot-walks” right.

“We have to walk really patiently in ‘Come and Go,’ especially every time someone gets up and walks. It has to be the exact same as when another person gets up and walks because the timing is very specific in the script,” she said. “Getting the pacing and the speed right has been a lot of work.”

Haratine said the plays’ sensitivity and focus on language and movement was another reason why he picked them. He believed it would challenge students and audiences in new ways.

“They have to pay special attention to how they’re moving as well as what’s being said and how it needs to be said,” Haratine said. “Audiences should pay special attention to our use of language and should be prepared for a very different kind of theater.”

South student Danie Davis, who plays the woman in “Rockaby” and the voice in “Footfalls,” said it’s very different from other plays she’s done but said the production is really interesting.

“People should come out and see it because it’ll be different than other stuff they’ve seen before,” Davis said.

7:30 p.m. April 5-7 in South’s Carillon Theater.
Tickets are free for TCC students, faculty and staff,
$3 for senior citizens and general admission is $6.
Box office is cash only.