Beckett/Albee was to have begun previews Sept. 23, but delayed its beginning twice. The company used the two extra days to smooth out some technical difficulties.
The evening consists of Albee's Counting the Ways and Beckett's Not I, Footfalls and A Piece of Monologue. Albee and Beckett are not strangers, but have been linked since the start of Albee's career. Albee's career-making first play, Zoo Story, was paired with Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape in Berlin in 1959, and then at the Provincetown Playhouse in 1960. Since then, Albee has been a steadfast fan and supporter of his Irish colleague, routinely praising Beckett and directing productions of his favorite playwright.
Beckett/Albee is directed by Lawrence Sacharow and will officially open at Oct. 9. Counting the Ways—the second half of the evening (thus, the nonalphabetical Beckett/Albee)—is one of Albee's brittle marital plays, with a man and a woman whimsically analyzing their relationship. It premiered in 1976 and was revived by the Signature Theatre Company when they devoted a season to Albee's work. Murray and Seldes will perform the piece.
Seldes alone performs Not I and Footfalls, while Murray handles A Piece of Monologue. All three are among Beckett's numerous shorter works, many of which last just a few minutes and sometimes have very few words of text.
Seldes' past Albee credits are significant. She won a Tony Award for the premiere of A Delicate Balance and starred in the American premiere of Three Tall Women. Beckett/Albee will have set and costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Michael Chybowski, and sound design by Mark Bennett and Ken Travis.
The project began with McCann and Sacharow's intestest in producing Counting the Ways. While searching for a companion play, Sacharow saw Seldes perform Beckett's Rockaby at a benefit, and suggested the Irish-born playwright to McCann. The evening was born.