Shorter and Shorter: Samuel Beckett’s Challenge to the Theatre
Samuel Beckett’s poetics of “less is more” has anticipated and even partly shaped the evolution of contemporary drama and theatre as one of the fundamental models of the performative turn of the last decades. His late style as a dramatist and a director has influenced contemporary performative theatre in artistic, socio-cultural, and even commercial terms (formats, bills, venues and unconventional settings such as installations, exhibitions, and urban spaces). Nevertheless, his most challenging pièces, the shorter plays, appear to be still waiting for a ‘staging tradition’ which could make the most of their constitutive brevity. In fact, productions of the so-called “dramaticules” have multiplied on the world scene, although often presented in antologies, collections, or multiple billings. Yet, there have already been some interesting and promising productions, and this paper aims at showing the centrality and pregnancy of brevity on the artistic and performative contemporary scene approaching Beckett’s poetics of subtraction in the wider perspective of the interplay between the theatre and other arts. Both focusing on the spectator’s experience and the ‘commercial challenge’, contemporary arts and Beckett’s late theatre have come closer and closer. A brief assessment of the fortune of Beckett’s shorter plays on the Italian stage confirms the fecundity of this intersectional path on which the artistic and performative scene seems to be going further along.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
This Journal is a CC-BY 4.0 publication (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). This Licence allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this Journal, providing a link to the Licence and explicitly underlining any change (full mention of Issue number, year, pages and DOI is required).
- The Author retains (i) the rights to reproduce, to distribute, to publicly perform, and to publicly display the Article in any medium for any purpose; (ii) the right to prepare derivative works from the Article; and (iii) the right to authorise others to make any use of the Article so long as the Author receives credit as Author and the Journal in which the Article has been published are cited as the source of first publication of the Article. For example, the Author may make and distribute copies in the course of teaching and research and may post the Article on personal or institutional Web sites and in other open-access digital repositories.
- The Author is free to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the Journal’s published version of the work, with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this Journal and explicitly underlining any change (full mention of Issue number, year, pages and DOI is required).
- The Author is permitted and encouraged to post their work online after the evaluation process has been successfully passed, as it can lead to productive exchanges as well as to a wider dissemination of the published work.