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Welcome to the Arden Theatre Company blog, where we share behind-the-scenes stories and current happenings with you. You will hear from the Arden staff as well as actors and other visiting artists, and we hope to hear from you, too. If you have an idea for a topic, please post a comment about it. We can't wait to hear what you think!

By James Tarte

One in the chair, One on his Feet, and Two in the Trash

Stuck in a room surrounded by ash.

 

The one in the chair

He should just stand.

Just push himself up

Because he can.

 

Or don’t stand

Wait like the two in the trash

Stuck in a room

Surrounded by ash.

 

The one on his feet

He should just sit.

Just fall down

Lean back and commit.

 

Or don’t sit

Wait like the two in the trash

Stuck in a room

Surrounded by ash.

 

The two in the trash

Say goodbye.

There is no option

Except to die.

 

Stuck in a room surrounded by ash

Hamm and Clov leave the two in the trash.

This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

 

By Aron Morgan

I was particularly impressed with the set that the Arden’s production team constructed so I decided to recreate a miniature version using several different types of material.

This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

By Don Roberts

Chess, and one of them makin a move and now himself lookin over me shoulder as if to see what I am scratching onto this paper but its me body and solely about my business I am irish in any language including the constant frenchiness of jamesy and  his so-called secretary and so he looks  to my dress buttoned but he will butt in to allow me comfort he says when its his own comfort he wishes he could get his hands on while I have my hands on this womanifesto about how I must not allow not a reef nor a barnacle to founder me but he ahs found the rounder me and I let it for awhile and then I take the knife I use to sharpen the pencil and put it under his nose first lifting that blessed now dry heavy breather and he with so many knives at his eyes backs and fronts away saving me from things literal and literary like the remarks about missing my periods with no understanding about my attack on capitalism he and sam can snicker and fallto with their books and papers and chess game yes chess and sam paying back his tootleage with james not jamesy then by espousing less I wish sam  would espouse a spouse and leave these rooms with natural sounds and not the game chess and  me to wonder about the attraction with all that attention to his majesty and the bishops coming back and forth at the less than direct and the horse not knowing whether to go here or there and her majesty going every which way to protect her husband and the little headed pawns which is u just afraid to go forward unless pushed and then a little bit and a little bit and if no one sees us we may get to the edge of the board and turn magically into one of our betters but always the game is about the king chess if there was an irish shcess game we would remove the royalty and the mounted police and then the landed gentry and the churchmen and we little folk would mill around until one confused piece remained  does that stop sam oh no and he wants to be calling it endgame and no rump council would approve and I would be happy to be a witness that the game has no end and that the king finally quits out of sheer boredom or boardom is you please chess now that they have left the room I would like to add that I am not a fan of the english writer shakespeare unless in is miss beachs store but I am a little leary of other explanations when there is a blind king on a throne and a fool mucking about never mind the dustbin chorus with the woman of course having not a leg to stnd on why not admit it but noooo we must use fanciness like nihilism a word I had to look up and found by accident because who expects an h to be in there and so when they were going on about nihilism I spoke up and said if you are talking about Egypt  and are crazy to go there it is senile dementia and they were ever so put out since anything clever must come from there mustn’t it chess  but it will pan out chess with james being less and sam being nobel and the king is dead chess

This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

 

By Jeremy Lopez

*Whistle Blows* “Clov!” *Whistle Blows* “CLOV!” Hamm receives no response from his once dedicated servant. Clov had become fed up with all of Hamm’s orders. He irritated Clov, the annoyance of having to always move him around, and take care of him like a baby, all while struggling to even walk straight himself.  Clov had a simple solution to this problem, in which he’d warned Hamm of multiple times. He’d leave. He had warned, and warned, but never quite had the courage to leave someone whom he knew depended on him so heavily. But he gained the courage, and went out into the newly damaged and destroyed world, lonely, independent, and helpless. All he took with him was his coat, and umbrella. How could he ever survive on his own in a world different from any world ever known to mankind? But more importantly, how could Hamm ever survive without the help and guidance of his servant Clov?

After Hamm received no response, he just sat there in his giant wheelchair, debating on whether or not it could possibly be true that Clov really left. He sat and stared blankly for hours and hours. After the accident, Hamm had lost his vision, but it seems that he was beginning to gain his strength back. Each day, little by little Hamm saw a bit more light, and every day, that encouraged him to do more and more. One day he saw enough clearly, that he started crawling out of his chair. He got to the floor, and searched for anything that can possibly get him to easily transport himself around his home. He found two of his old skiing rods from when he was a young man. He then used them, literally just as a skier would. He sat in his chair, and to get around he put the rods on the floor, and moved his way around. He still couldn’t see much, however, his eyesight was still improving daily. Now every time he told a story, he actually got to watch his parents’ reactions. But he still felt something missing. Gaining his eyesight back, gaining his strength back, building a better relationship with his parents, it still didn’t add up to the love he felt for Clov. He’d raised him since a child; he needed him in his old lonely life.

Hamm thought of a master plan. He would go out into the newly found wilderness, and find Clov on his own, and bring him back to live with him. Hamm planned to treat Clov with more respect when he found him, because he had realized how irritating and disrespectful he must have been towards him. His only problem was how could he ever get out of his house with that wheelchair? He asked his parents for help, but they had been awfully quiet lately, so he just ignored the fact. He quickly decided that he’ll build a ramp, that’ll allow him to easily get in and out of his door, which he found the materials easily, and built his ramp with no problem. Then came the moment of truth, Hamm was going to test the ramp for the first time, and leave his home, and see the new world, for the first time since the catastrophe.

When Hamm opened the door, a cold wind pushed him back. The wood creaked as he poked his skiing rods into the ground as he moved up the ramp. When he finally reached the outdoors, he admired the new world. He looked at the new, bitterly cold world, he now unknowingly lived in. He wheeled his chair toward the street and began his search. As Hamm approached the corner, he looked onto his side lawn to see Clov lying breathless with a box of doggy biscuits by his side. When he saw this, he quickly rolled himself back into the house to his parents trash cans. How could he forget, during all of this time? All of this time he spent gaining his own strength back, he forgot to feed his parents the only food left for them to eat? His parents kneeled stiffly in each trashcan. He rolled back out to Clov quickly, and realized, he was the last man anywhere near living. He was the last man who still breathed on this Earth. But that was no more. After realizing he had lost the only people in his life who meant anything to him, he decided to call it quits. Hamm took his ski rods and shoved each of them into his chest. He then forced himself out of his chair, and lied down on the cold ground next to Clov. Hamm grabbed his hand, and kissed it. He told him he’ll see him soon, as his eyes.. slowly.. closed.. shut.

This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

 

By Sam Wyder

Okay, so I heard some people in the audience grumbling about how Endgame
wasn’t what they expected. To that I have to say, “This is Beckett. What did you
expect?” Not only is this Beckett, this is Beckett at his Beckett-iest (except arguably for Waiting for Godot, but we’ll talk about that later). Below are the various comments I either heard or read online (please note I also heard many nice things, but nice thing are not fun to provide rebuttals for).

1) “It didn’t make any sense.”
What did you expect?
a) It’s Beckett.
b) He was French.
Furthermore Beckett was inspired by (among other people) James Joyce. Let me say that one more time, James Joyce. James Joyce is also known as the person who wrote Finnegean’s Wake, a.k.a. the only ticket you need if you want to board the one-way train to crazy-town. Finnegean’s Wake is so inscrutable that decades later people still can’t agree on what the plot is. So if “inscrutable” is another word for “terrible” in your book, then just remember that Endgame could have been a whole lot worse.
Why this complaint is actually a good thing: The play isn’t supposed to make immediate sense. The ambiguity leaves room for everyone to come away with their own impression. If the impression you came away with was simply a general sense of confusion, I have trouble believing Beckett would be too terribly displeased with that. Confusion is uncomfortable, it’s a feeling we generally try to avoid as human beings, but sometimes in trying to alleviate that confusion, we can find something new. Of course we could also find that life is meaningless, and confusion is inevitable. Either way, you learned something new from your night at the theater.

2) “Why were they in trashcans?”
Because Beckett said so. Really this loops back to #1 read it again. Also, Nag and Nell may have inspired Oscar the Grouch. You’re welcome.
Why this complaint is actually a good thing: Have you seen Sesame Street?

3) “Did Hamm really have to be so mean?”
Did Darth Vader?
Did Voldemort?
How about Gollum?
Characters don’t have to be nice. In fact almost all stories have an antagonist.
And while Hamm can be grating, maybe we can give the blind post-apocalyptic man a
break.
Why this complaint is actually a good thing: Indifference is truly the worst response you can have to a character. Say what you will about him, at least Hamm made you feel something.

4) “Nothing happened!”
Not true! They go to the window, several times. Clov moves around an awful
lot. Also, someone even dies! When a character dies, you must admit, at least a little bit
of something happened.
Why this complaint is actually a good thing: This actually reminds me of a great quote about Waiting for Godot. The plot was described as, “Nothing happens. Twice!”
It’s true, there’s not a lot of flashy action here. I wouldn’t settle down with Endgame and some ice cream at the end of a long day. However, things do happen. By stripping away all of the events that usually take up our focus in a play, Beckett forces us to really listen to what he’s saying. It’s like when your mom made you look at her when she was talking to you.

5) “I feel like there’s something I missed.”
It’s okay. You didn’t. I submit the following as evidence that there’s nothing to miss.
a) It’s Beckett.
b) He was French.
You may have notice that I already used those arguments. However I think you’ll find that you can get pretty far into any discussion about Beckett’s works simply by repeating the above facts and shrugging your shoulders.
Why this complaint is actually a good thing: It may seem to some of you like half of the play was missing. That might make you feel like you’ve missed something. You haven’t, because the other half of the play is in you. (Please ignore how much I sound like every 90s sci-fi movie ever. “The power was in you all along!”) Really though, I think Beckett leaves so much ambiguous because we’re supposed to fill in the gaps with
our own jumble of questions and answers. This is the closest the a dialog with a famous writer that a lot of us will ever get. The beauty of Endgame is that you can throw whatever you like at it and see what sticks. It’s like a choose your own adventure book.

Think Clov leaves? Great! You’re right. Think Clov stays? Wonderful! You’re right too. Think Clov plans on staying but gets beamed up by elephantine aliens? Okay, that’s probably not what Beckett was going for. But he’s not here, so points for creativity!

The bottom line is, don’t be scared of Endgame. Yeah, it’s weird. Yeah, it’s easy to feel like you were too uncultured or unintelligent to “get it.” And yeah, it’s no Die Hard. But there’s some beautiful words that Beckett has put together. And he’s asking us the big questions. He’s treating us like adults and he’s not going to let us get off with “I dunno.” We are going to sit here in the dark with him, and he’s going to poke us with a stick made of words until we start thinking, really thinking. Now eat your vegetables and
think about Beckett’s existentialist questions! It’s good for you.

This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

By Christopher Wiener

About the piece:
My piece is hand thrown and hand made out of terracotta clay. The trashcan is the basis of the symbols that I wanted to convey. On the trash can there is a rusty question mark symbolizing the questions and unknowns of the play also symbolizing the amount of time the characters have lived down in their hole. The hands grasping the top of the can symbolize the want of escape. I wanted to make the hands look as if they are bare and non human by not adding nails and knuckle wrinkles because the life that these characters are living is not a normal human life. The sawdust also helps show that the person in the can is trapped, and, like the characters in the play, they cannot get out.


This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

By Taquan Allen and Malisa Mendez

This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, >ed you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

By Marco Kopac

Click here listen to the song:
La Liberté éclairant le monde

Finished are the empire days
When buildings touched the sun
Yes I was once someone
Was I a nation?

Now I live beneath the rubble
Dripping in your brain
The pain is setting in
Like an after thought

You will never leave me
You dependent patriot
Blinded by the order of your heart

I guess we’ll be getting on
I think we’re getting on
We’re getting on

Sawdust turns to sand as
You hobble near my shore
Staring at my light
Or what’s left of it

Begin forgotten laughter
Be the oil for my lamp
Plant the seeds
Reverse the zero

You will never leave me
You dependent patriot Blinded by the orders of your heart

I guess we’ll be getting on
I think we’re getting on
We’re getting on

This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, >clinic you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

By Thomas Gabriele Busillo

This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

By Charles Davis

Here is here is here is here is here is there is here is is here
Where is where is where is where is where is where is
You are are you

Lotus eaters!
You are fire made flesh, >
you are ashen sibyls,
you are bold explorers,
fearlessly charting the four corners of the room!
Dust motes waltz on your faces!
Oblivion!
Four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie!
Where is?
For what?
And how?
And now?
Ah, now.
But then?
And how?

You gregarious mutes,
your voices dry husks of whispers,
Scream!
Screech!
Moan! Gnash your teeth!
Rattle the flies in your dead lungs!
Say something!
Say nothing!
Your words are my words are a great granite lie,
a sickness unto death!
Hurry hurry hurry hurry hurry
I think I think I think
There is light
Or at least a slight breeze!

Or at least a slight breeze.

This is a finalist in our Endgame Creative Response Contest. From February 28-March 4, you can visit our Facebook page to vote for this entry to win our grand prize!

 

 

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