Legendary director Peter Brook stages a quintet of works by preeminent playwright Samuel Beckett—Rough for Theatre I, Rockaby, Act Without Words II, Neither, and Come and Go—featuring renowned international artists Jos Huben, Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni. Brook and his actors plumb the depths of Beckett’s sparse, dynamic texts, revealing humor and humanity.
Through four decades of groundbreaking work, Peter Brook has redefined theater for audiences around the world–and with the American premiere of Fragments, he continues to explore, innovate and fascinate.
Approximate Running Time: 60 minutes (no intermission)
"Don’t miss out. You may never get another chance to see something with this combined pedigree in physical theatre."
– The British Theatre Guide (UK)
"A revelatory evening."
– The Daily Telegraph (UK)
"Inspired … brims with a youthful joy."
– The Independent (UK)
"A director at the height of his powers."
– Time Out London
"Irresistible to anyone who feels Beckett’s comedy is sometimes overlooked."
– Guardian Unlimited (UK)
Project funding for Fragments provided by the Julius Frankel Foundation and The Rhoades Foundation, with additional support from Imogene Thoma.
Fragments is presented in The Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater.
Director Peter Brook has selected texts by Samuel Beckett, plays and prose, to create an evening of theater. Fragments
is composed of five short Beckett pieces: Act Without Words II
(1956); Rough for Theatre I
(late 1950s, first performed in 1979); Neither
(1980); and Come and Go
Distillations of memories, relationships, or ideas, these plays present Beckett's universe in powerful miniatures. Rough for Theatre I features an encounter between A, who is blind, and B, who is in a wheelchair. Rockaby, a dialogue between a woman rocking in her chair and her recorded voice, is a moving exploration of memory and the passage of time. Act Without Words, which Beckett called "a mime for two players," consists entirely of stage directions for a variety of props and characters A and B. Beckett wrote prose poem Neither for pioneering American composer Morton Feldman to set to music. Come and Go, "a dramaticule," opens with the image of three women, "ages undeterminable" whose first line, "When did we last three meet?" echoes the witches from Shakespeare's Macbeth, "When shall we three meet again?"
Samuel Beckett wrote most of his major full-length plays during the early part of his career. Beginning in the early 1960s, his work for the theater consisted of shorter works, some just a few minutes long. Most of these plays have extensive and precise stage directions, which are sometimes longer than the dialogue itself.
– Contributed by the CST Education Department
See who’s who among the actors, with their bios, headshots and resumes.
The Creative Team
See who’s who on the creative team—the director, designers and other artists who contribute to the creation of the world of the play.
About Samuel Beckett
Director Peter Brook explains how Samuel Beckett's humor saves us from falling into the abyss of human despair.