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“As We Read Samuel Beckett”

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Ross, Dina (Australian playwright, writer, journalist, 1962-____), “As We Read Samuel Beckett,”

a 60-minute bittersweet comedy in English in eight scenes, set in Australia, 2002,


  •  © 2002 by Dina Ross;  •  in Dina Ross’ Smokescreens—Three One Act Plays About Love and the Games People Play (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia: The Author, 2002);  •  script/rights available from Dina Ross, 20 Murphy Street, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia, e-mail j.tversky@dent.unimelb.edu.au, telephone (home) 613 9866 7228.  •  Cited by Dina Ross via ftp July 17, 2002; Ross says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Simpkin (m), 42, henpecked; Litvinoff (m), 42, South African now living in Australia, Jewish, bitter; Rosa (f), 38, Italian-Australian, spinsterish.

  §  Synopsis “Three lonely hearts, henpecked Simpkin, spinsterish Rosa and bitter Litvinoff, meet coincidentally at a supermarket and discover a mutual love of the plays of Samuel Beckett. They meet monthly to read the works of the Master.

  §  Comment “‘As We Read Samuel Beckett’ examines the tangled web of love and hate that grows among the three. An inverted triangle—Simpkin loves Rosa who loves Litvinoff who is gay. Quick-fire dialogue and witticisms intersperse with excerpts from Beckett’s plays as each of the ill-matched trio plumbs a Beckett character who encapsulates his/her personality. The multi-cultural nature of the characters adds another dimension to the play, and each character completes his/her journey by discovering the uneasy nature of compromise.  •  Smokescreens is easy to stage and perform. One set suffices for all three plays. ‘In the Wings” requires one scene; ‘After Moravia,’ eight quick-fire scenes; ‘As We Read Samuel Beckett,’ eight scenes; with overall playing time of ninety minutes. The first and second plays are universal. Place names can vary to suit. The third play, ‘As We Read Samuel Beckett,’ occurs in Australia.”  •  Smokescreens was first performed at Chapel Off Chapel Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, from 2-12 May 2002, directed by David Myles, with lighting by Jens Milbret, set by Adrienne Chisholm and music by Andrew Pendlebury. The premiere cast featured Heather Bolton as Sally/Sarah/Rosa, Kevin Hopkins as Hugh/Litvinoff, Chris Connelly as Robert/Simpkin. Further productions are in the pipeline in Australia.”  •  “Dina Ross was born in London. In her early 20s, her first play “Farinelli - the Third Voice” made BBC Radio’s Pick of the Year. Her translation of Jean Giraudoux’ “Supplement aux Voyages de Cook” premiered at The Cottesloe, National Theatre of Great Britain. Haunted by writer’s block for 15 years, Dina turned to freelance journalism for the BBC and The Sunday Times and then public relations. Since emigrating to Australia in 1993, she has worked as an arts writer and theatre reviewer for both the Herald Sun and The Age. A series of contrasting dramatic monologues for the actress Julie Campbell, directed by Greg Carroll, “Waiting” will be produced at 45 Downstairs Theatre in Melbourne in 2003 and has received dramaturgical funding from Playworks. Since returning to writing in 1999, she has completed two screenplays, “Changing Gear” and “Sonia at Maxim’s” (currently being developed with Renegade Films) and the short film “Haiku”, to be directed by David Myles and produced by Richard Neale. Dina has applied to the Australia Council to write a full-length play “Visiting Toyland.” She is also completing a collection of short stories, “Female Parts”. Dina Ross’ three one act plays about love, “Smokescreens”, premiered at Chapel Off Chapel from 2-12 May 2002 and received excellent reviews in the print and broadcast media. Geoffrey Milne on radio 774 ABC called the work “clever, moving and funny.” In The Age (9/5/02) reviewer Jim Murphy commented on “the quality of the writing and the well-shaped dialogue”, adding: “Dina Ross’ Smokescreens is mature, fluent and theatrical.”

  §  Themes Beckett (Samuel Beckett, Irish playwright, writer, 1906-1989), disillusion, homosexuality, illusion, loneliness, love, relationship, theatricality of human interaction.

See also Dina Ross’

  • After Moravia,” a 20-minute bittersweet comedy in English, set variously in eight quick-fire scenes, in remembered time and 2002, 1m1f
  • In the Wings,” a 15-minute bittersweet comedy in English, set backstage at a downmarket comedy gig, 2002, 1f
  • Waiting,” an 80-minute comedy-drama in English, set in any Western city, Australia, during twenty-four hours in the life of the metropolis, 1f
  • This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

    Page mounted July 19, 2002, and updated October 7, 2002, January 26, 2003, by the Webmaster.

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