This workshop uses Beckett's letters as the starting point for an original approach to Happy Days, focusing on themes of communicative failure, the performance of gender, the limits of dialogue and the human fear of not being heard. It builds on my prize-winning MA thesis, in which I argued that in Happy Days Beckett dramatizes the solitary experience of the letter-writer, figuring the ambiguous status of the epistolary interlocutor in oral and spatial terms on the stage. I read the play in conjunction with Beckett's letter exchange with his lover and colleague Barbara Bray. As Beckett's epistolary dialogue with Bray broke down, writing to her 4 July 1960, 'I can't write any more in this way', he began to quote extracts of the draft of Happy Days in his letters to her. The play and the letters thus have a complex intertextual relationship, and this workshop will explore the ways in which the relationship between the two texts can inform and stimulate our reading and performance practices.
If you are interested in partaking in the workshops, please contact Anas Sareen (Anas.Sareen@unil.ch) mentioning how the workshop fits in with your work and interests. Registration means that attendance to both workshops is mandatory. The workshop is limited to 10 participants.
The deadline for registration is Monday 02 May 2016.
The workshops are generously funded by the Plateforme UNIL pour le genre (PLAGE).