ONLINE SEMINAR
February 7 | Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Endgame

C$ 275.00

About his own play, Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett said, “I know no more about this play than anybody who might manage to read it carefully.” By the end of this seminar, you may not feel as if you know as much (or as little) as Beckett about his own play, but you will have had the opportunity to carefully read and discuss two of his finest plays, Waiting for Godot and Endgame.

The ongoing popularity of these two plays may be surprising given that Beckett does not rely on conventional devices of storytelling. There is not much in the way of a traditional plot in either one. A critic quipped about Godot that in its two acts, “Nothing happens, twice.” The rejection of conventional technique, however, is in part why Beckett succeeds in revealing the subtleties and complexities underlying human experience. While these plays have been described as anti-realist, every new production is a testament to their real-world relevance. Just a few months into the pandemic, the Irish Times declared that no play better captures the experience and the meaning of a lockdown than Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.

While discussion of the texts of the plays will be our priority in our seminar discussions, participants will be provided with online links to video productions in order to view a stage performance of each play as well.

When: Four weekly sessions on Sundays at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, starting February 7, 2021

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: C$275 plus 13% HST (approx. US$215 plus 13% HST)

Group Size: 12-participant limit

How: We will be using Zoom; you will receive instructions on how to join upon registration. For your privacy, all our Zoom seminars are password-protected and are never recorded.

All seminar payments are nonrefundable. If you are interested in applying your Toronto Pursuits 2020 deposit to this seminar, please contact us.

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Description

LEADER

Hunter Dunn has been a seminar leader at Toronto Pursuits and recently led an online seminar on Kafka’s The Trial in the fall of 2020. He has also been a trainer and consultant for the Great Books Foundation. His interest in Beckett stems partly from his training and interest in theater and improvisation. Since 2014, he has been performing and teaching long-form improvisation in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

BOOKS

Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts, by Samuel Beckett
(Grove Press, 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-0802144423

Endgame and Act Without Words, by Samuel Beckett
(Grove Press, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-0802144393

We encourage you to support local bookstores or other independent sellers.

In the US and the UK, try Bookshop.org World of Books, or Ebooks (electronic books only)

In the US and Canada, try Powell’s Books, IndieBound, and Thiftbooks (used books only in Canada)

In Canada, try McNally Robinson or Indigo

About his own play, Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett said, “I know no more about this play than anybody who might manage to read it carefully.” By the end of this seminar, you may not feel as if you know as much (or as little) as Beckett about his own play, but you will have had the opportunity to carefully read and discuss two of his finest plays, Waiting for Godot and Endgame.

The ongoing popularity of these two plays may be surprising given that Beckett does not rely on conventional devices of storytelling. There is not much in the way of a traditional plot in either one. A critic quipped about Godot that in its two acts, “Nothing happens, twice.” The rejection of conventional technique, however, is in part why Beckett succeeds in revealing the subtleties and complexities underlying human experience. While these plays have been described as anti-realist, every new production is a testament to their real-world relevance. Just a few months into the pandemic, the Irish Times declared that no play better captures the experience and the meaning of a lockdown than Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.

While discussion of the texts of the plays will be our priority in our seminar discussions, participants will be provided with online links to video productions in order to view a stage performance of each play as well.

Learn more in our recent interview with Hunter.

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable.

Image: Photograph by Fernand Michaud, Avignon Festival, 1978; Rufus (Estragon) and Georges Wilson (Vladimir)

 

 

 

Additional information

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Standard registration, Toronto Pursuits 2020 credit