Primary Creator: Beckett, Samuel (1906-1989)
Extent: 3.0 Items
Date Acquired: 07/01/2014
From the collection of American actor and noted Samuel Beckett performer Rich Cluchey, who had been serving a life sentence for kidnapping and robbery at California’s San Quentin prison when he saw a visiting production of Waiting for Godot in 1957. Inspired by the performance, Cluchey and several other inmates soon formed a dramatic troupe called the San Quentin Drama Workshop, and Waiting for Godot was the first play staged by the company. It became known for its dedication to Beckett’s play, in particular the cycle of Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and Krapp’s Last Tape, and after Cluchey’s parole in 1966, a reformed SQDW continued performing Beckett throughout the United States and Europe.
Beckett had been aware of the play’s unusual connection with prisoners since 1954, after he received a letter from an inmate about a 1953 production of Waiting for Godot at the Lüttringhausen Prison in Germany. Intensely moved by the man’s reaction, Beckett became singularly attentive to performances of his plays by prisoners. He became involved with the SQDW following Cluchey’s December 1974 invitation to the author to attend a Workshop performance of Endgame in Paris, and Beckett would go on to personally direct Cluchey in Krapp’s Last Tape in Berlin in 1977, and in Endgame in London in 1980 (along with Cluchey’s wife, Teresita Garcia Suro). Outside the theatre, a warm, personal relationship developed between Beckett and the Clucheys, with the playwright providing financial and moral support to them over a period of many years, and Cluchey and Garcia Suro naming their son after him.
From Glenn Horowitz Bookseller description
Access Restrictions: Open
Users of the collections must read and abide by the Reading Room and Reproduction Policy.
Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections a hard copy of the Notification of Intent to Quote from or Publish Manuscript Materials.
All publication not covered by fair use restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder.
Acquisition Source: Purchase from Glenn Horowitz Bookseller
Acquisition Method: Accession number 2014.016
Related Materials: See also the Samuel Beckett Papers (MSS008), the Samuel Beckett Ephemera (VMF014) and the Samuel Beckett Posters (VMF233)
Preferred Citation: Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections
Other Note: Transferred to Rare Books. PR6003.E255 E513 1954
8vo.; one single sheet, folded once vertically, loosely held at center; illustrated throughout with black-and-white photographs and illustrations; staple-bound; pictorial black-and-white wrappers.
A presentation copy, inscribed on front wrapper: for Rick & Teri/with love/from Sam/Paris, Oct. 88. This 1965 production of Waiting for Godot was not the first in Germany: an authorized staging, based on an inmate’s own translation of the French edition, occurred in 1953 at the Lüttringhausen Prison, near Wuppertal, and another, more formal performance was presented at the Schlossparktheater in Berlin the same year. However, the Schiller-Theater’s iteration was not only directed by Beckett’s friend Deryk Mendel, with a text by his favored German translator Elmar Tophoven (Warten auf Godot), but was also attended in rehearsal by Beckett. The production starred Stefan Wigger as Estragon and Horst Bollmann as Vladimir.
Transferred to Rare Books. PR6003.E255 E513 1954 ("Warten auf Godot : [theater program]")