A Mind-Bending Evening of Becket. Is there some miscommunication between the piece and me?

photo by James Wade

photo by James Wade

A Mind-Bending Evening of Becket was centered on the theme of Humanism. I felt that it was very fable-like. I wonder if that is Beckett’s style.

Before I see a show, I always try to find a synopsis that gives me the basic idea of a show but still leaves a big chunk out. This leaves some sort of mystery that if I’m intrigued enough then I’ll go see it. I feel that this way I give every show I see a fair chance.

A Mind-Bending Evening of Beckett was a collection of three plays. I assumed that he (Beckett) must have been a pretty popular guy since there were barely any empty seats in the small theatre. Before this show, the name Samuel Beckett seemed... nothing really stuck out in my head. I wanted to see this show because lately Humanism has become a pretty juicy and trendy topic around Starbucks citywide. Everyone wants to dive into the psychological aspect of the human brain as they discuss Miley Cyrus’ latest charade.

Beckett’s pieces were a bit complex and there were moments where I felt as if I was lost in translation. However, many people around me seemed to understand completely. "Was there a miscommunication between the piece and me?" I wondered, while I sifted through my experience, looking for some sort of understanding. I never found any, but it did make me explore a whole realm of questions.

The main question that lingered in my mind was: "Is age the deciding factor that divides an audience?" In most theatres the age groups don’t have much of a range, but, I guess this all depends on the show.

I decided if I wanted some answers I had to do some research. When I "googled" Samuel Beckett and checked out his Wikipedia page, I felt myself finally getting some understanding. Beckett was one of the key writers in a genre called “Theatre of the Absurd”. His work could be considered as a tragicomedy looking into human nature. If I had this prior knowledge then I would have known what to expect from this show and wouldn’t have been taken back by its obscurity. The other audience members (who were all obviously older than me) received so much more from the show. I was watching it with the eyes of someone completely different from everyone else around me. My compassion and need for everything to be logical stopped me from digging beyond the surface, not seeing the comical part of a show that seemed pretty depressing.

It can be a hard life for young people at the theatre. I always want to tap into every form of theatre trying to dismantle each piece and figure out its hidden themes. I’ve been going to the theatre ever since I was 14 and one thing I have finally come to terms with is that, there will always be things that go over my head. I’m not going to completely grasp the true meaning of everything, but that’s ok. I believe the whole beauty of theatre is getting lost and at some point finding your way. This means that after a show you have to dwell on it, momentarily, and possibly do a little research. If you go the extra step, then you’ll find yourself appreciating every piece of art you lay your eyes on.

$20 Student rush

A Mind-Bending Evening of Beckett @ Irish Repertory Theater