Directing Beckett

Lois Oppenheim
Interviews with and essays by twenty-two prominent directors of Samuel Beckett's work


In Directing Beckett , Lois Oppenheim presents interviews and essays with twenty-two prominent international directors of Samuel Beckett's work, many of whom worked closely with Beckett, assisting him with his productions or acting under his direction before directing his work themselves. Here they speak openly of their experiences of working with him, and comment on various productions that, in taking great liberties with his work, have raised a number of fascinating legal and aesthetic questions.

In exploring this key figure in the history of theater, Oppenheim's interviews—with such directors as JoAnne Akalaitis, Edward Albee, Herbert Blau, Joseph Chaikin, and Carey Perloff—also address many of the complexities of the director's role, such as the meaning of directorial integrity and fidelity to the playwright's vision—an issue of particular relevance to a playwright whose exactitude, with respect to stage directions, is well documented. Additional highlights include photographs from many of the productions; the unpublished text of a lecture by the late Alan Schneider, Beckett's most accomplished American director; and an interview with the late Roger Blin, the very first director of Beckett's work.

Lois Oppenheim is Professor of French, Montclair State University.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . an excellent book that will be of enormous use to everyone engaged in the study (or production) of Beckett's drama."
    —Hersh Zeifman, York University
  • "Anyone intending to direct or act in a work by Beckett, or to write about his work, must read this book."
  • "Drama critics and Beckett scholars will benefit from this contribution to the critical debate on 'directing Beckett' because it addresses both exquisitely dramatic and performative issues and specifically Beckettian themes. From the very beginning of her work, Oppenheim points to the irreducible duplicity of art as 'a mediated presentation of unmediated experience,' and from there she articulates a book-project that addresses with simultaneous attention 'the experiential and aesthetic' relevant to both Beckett's work and Beckett directing."
    Modern Drama
  • "Directing Beckett is that rare thing—a book both pleasant to read and useful to have; it is bound to be helpful to anyone studying Beckett's plays in the classroom or in the theatre."
    —Toby Silverman Zinman, Theatre Journal

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 336pp.
  • 8 B&W photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1997
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08436-4

Add to Cart
  • $48.50 U.S.