Arts & Culture / Mosaic / Theater / April 29, 2010

A (life) of Beckett

Senior Ryn Flynn’s relationship with author and playwright Samuel Beckett is officially on hiatus. Flynn directed three of Beckett’s short plays last weekend in Studio Theatre including Not I, Play and Breath.

“I studied End Game in high school, just like everybody else,” said Flynn of her early experience with Beckett. Her interest in the author’s work grew from there. Flynn has always been interested in Beckett’s unique brand of absurdist theatre.

“Particularly with these absurdist pieces, you’re completely removed from reality,” she said. She went on to emphasize the significance of the unseen characters in the plays she directed this weekend. “I like the idea of not getting the whole picture.”

Flynn always hoped to direct An Evening of Beckett at Knox. Even as a freshman, she was interested in pursuing the author’s works from a directorial standpoint. She is a theatre major and though her focus is in lighting design, her experience in the department gave her the tools to direct the shows.

“I really kind of separated my lighting mind from my directing mind,” she said, noting that she gathered tools from classes as well as her experience participating in Rep Term.

Flynn reflected on the strength of Knox’s theatre department.

“There’s just a stone strong group of us always in CFA, always working on something, always doing something. There’s just a certain sense of camaraderie,” she said.

As well as the relationships she has forged, Flynn values the tools that she has gathered from her time in the department.

“I’ve been given the opportunity to work on everything from realism to absurdism,” she said. “The biggest thing that I’ve taken away that I think will help me in the real world is this idea that it’s okay to make a mistake as long as you fix it. It’s okay to try something that you’re not quite sure of and accept the responsibility for it and learn how to fix it.”

An Evening of Beckett, according to Flynn, was the perfect way to bid farewell to the department.

She said that to perform Beckett was no easy task.

“My cast was wonderful in more ways than I can count,” said Flynn. “Their memorizing abilities and their willingness to do something out there was awesome.”

Flynn commented on the importance of each play’s cyclical nature. Actors often repeat monologues or parts of monologues at varying speeds or with varying inflection. The form hit home for Flynn.

“There’s just this kind of need to live in a cycle and not be able to move on, which is kind of weird because I’m a senior right now and I would like to just go back to being a first year because I know that Knox is safe. But I have to just break the cycle,” she said.

Though she has directed three of his plays, Flynn claims that she still does not fully understand Beckett.

“I’ll probably come back to Beckett later in life when I understand life a little more,” she said. “We’re on a break, we need some space.”

Sarah Colangelo

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