Thursday May 5, 2011
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art Produces Samuel Beckett's Masterpiece Endgame
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art Produces Samuel Beckett's Masterpiece Endgame

exterior of the CMA building

The play is one of the last performances at the Cleveland Play House

CLEVELAND (May 5, 2011) –A new production of Endgame by Samuel Beckett, one of the literary greats of the 20th century, is the season finale of the Cleveland Museum of Art's 2010-2011 VIVA! & Gala Performing Arts series. Directed by Massoud Saidpour, the museum's director of performing arts, music and film, Endgame will run in the Cleveland Play House's Brooks Theatre at 8500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 from May 19-June 11, 2011. This will be one of the final plays ever to be staged in the Brooks Theatre, as the Cleveland Play House is relocating to PlayhouseSquare after 84 years.

Nobel Laureate writer Samuel Beckett shunned publicity throughout his life, only to become a worldwide cultural phenomenon. His play Endgame, sometimes dubbed a comedy about a tragedy, is a portrayal of Hamm, a blind, chair-bound tyrant; and Clov, his forgetful and fumbling servant/son. The two coexist in the aftermath of calamity eerily close to the recent Japanese tragedy in a mutually dependent and fractious relationship. In the "shelter" are also Nell and Nagg, Hamm's ancient parents, who tragi-comically live in trashcans and occasionally pop out to demand food or engage in farcical conversations. Laughter is Beckett's antivenin to the existential angst of post-modern life and the play is replete with sublime comic moments.

"Endgame ingeniously blends the high arts of literature and painting with physical comedy—as if the Books of Genesis, Dante, Bosch or Bruegel were played by Chaplin, Harpo or Keaton," said Saidpour. "Through laughter and precise metaphor, Beckett intensely probes the human conditions and in 90 minutes gives us a true fable of man alive in it: deeply sorrowful, very funny."

Petite, intimate and filled with history, the Brooks Theatre of the Cleveland Play House is a perfect venue for Beckett's Endgame. It was built in 1927 by architect Philip Small. The theatre has been home to many American or world premieres by major playwrights such Pirandello, and a starting ground and home to many legendary actors such Paul Newman and Margaret Hamilton.

Endgame tickets are $29, $27 for museum members, and may be purchased online at, by phone at 888-CMA-0033, or in person (in advance) at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland. Tickets will also be available one hour before each performance at the Cleveland Play House.

Please note that the play starts at 7:30 and due to the nature of the performance there is no late seating.

About the Playwright:
Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906-1989) was born in a prosperous Irish Protestant family. He had by all accounts a happy and active upbringing. He played first-rate cricket for Trinity College Dublin, then, in Paris in the late 1920s, became an assistant, friend and literary confidant of James Joyce. In 1939, he left Ireland and settled permanently in Paris, preferring—in his own words—"France at war to Ireland at peace." He joined the French resistance after the German invasion in 1940. He received the Croix de Guerre in 1945 and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969. His best known work is his play Waiting for Godot (1953); asked which of his plays he favored most, he responded, "I suppose the one I least dislike is Endgame."

About the Director:
Massoud Saidpour directs the Cleveland Museum of Art's robust schedule of concerts and films—an eclectic roster that includes classical to world music and the avant-garde to traditional. He studied theatre with Jerzy Grotowski and his associates—performing artists from diverse world cultures. He has directed extensively both nationally and internationally. Among his directing credits are Persian Cycles, a series of performances based on Persian classical literature and performance idioms; Phantoms of King Lear (based on Shakespeare's King Lear); He and She (based on Anton Chekhov's plays and short stories); Come and See! (based on Goethe's Faust); The Chairs by Eugene Ionesco; Swan Song + Confessions (based on Anton Chekhov's and Nikolai Gogol's works); and The Gamblers by Nikolai Gogol.

Terence Cranendonk (Clov) trained as an actor at Yale University. He has performed at the Cleveland Play House in the Theatre for Children productions of Ferdinand the Bull and The Nutcracker. At Kennedy's in PlayhouseSquare: The Gamblers and Confessions. At Severance Hall: The Cleveland Orchestra's Beyond the Score series. At Cleveland Public Theatre: Stars Fell All Night, The Hairy Ape, I Dreamed of Rats, Fable of the Cloister of Cemeteries, Woyzeck, and The Book of Saints and Martyrs. With Theatre Ninjas: Crave. Off-Broadway New York: Public Theatre, HOME, La Mama, Target Margin. Regional: Kennedy Center, Plays and Players Theatre. As a member of the New World Performance Laboratory, Terence performed throughout the U.S., Europe and South America from 1992 to 1999.

George Roth (Hamm) trained to be an actor, first as an undergraduate at Yale University, and then at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London where he earned a three-year Acting Diploma and appeared in the Royal National Theatre's West End run of Brighton Beach Memoirs. Most recently, George appeared as Andrey Botvinnik in A Walk in the Woods for Rabbit Run and Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and Captain Hook/Mr. Darling in Peter Pan at the Beck Center for the Arts. George's film and television credits include Batman, The Russia House, Nightbreed, Doing Time on Maple Drive, Murphy Brown, Love and War, and Get a Life.

Mark Seven (Nagg) is a storyteller, and thrives on tales that impact our lives by illuminating shadows, healing wounds or uniting us in laughter. He recently appeared in A Christmas Carol at Actors' Summit, Is He Dead? and The Underpants at (Beck Center) and The Great White Hope (Weathervane). Current film projects include featured roles in Super Born and City of Lost Souls. His next project is writing "Pirates on the Allegheny," a comedy for Get Away With Murder, his very own Mystery Theatre Company, now in its 15th year. Mark is a graduate of Wittenberg University.

Dorothy Silver (Nell) is a veteran Cleveland-area actress. Her last performance under Massoud Saidpour's direction was as the Prompter in Chekhov's Swan Song. She has garnered many arts achievement and acting awards, often together with her partner in life and theatre, Reuben Silver. Among her favorite major roles are Wings, Golda, The Visit, Mrs. Warren's Profession and Death of a Salesman. Her directing credits include productions at Karamu House, the Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival and American Place Theatre in New York.


VIVA! & Gala 2010-11 Season

VIVA! & Gala has built a reputation among regional audiences for bringing one-of-a-kind artists to Cleveland, and the 2010-11 season is no exception, with 21 performances from 10 different countries.

Programs are made possible in part by The Ernest L. and Louise M. Gartner Fund, The P.J. McMyler Musical Endowment Fund and The Anton and Rose Zverina Music Fund. Additional support provided by the Musart Society. Support for the "Faces of Latina Performers" miniseries is provided by Kathryn Karipides and David Brown in memory of their beloved friend May Chicris. The "Pay What You Can" student ticket program is made possible in part by the Milton and Tamar Maltz Family Foundation. The Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba performance is made possible by Erica Hartman-Horvitz and Joan Horvitz. The official media sponsor is WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream.

Single tickets for individual performances are available by calling the Cleveland Museum of Art box office or online at


About the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 40,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing an ambitious, multi-phase renovation and expansion project across its campus, the museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. One of the top five comprehensive art museums in the nation, and the only one that is free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has a membership of more than 21,500 households and is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. The museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Additional support comes from the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information about the museum, its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit



By Samuel Beckett / Directed by Massoud Saidpour
Part of the Cleveland Museum of Art's VIVA! & Gala Performing Arts series

Brooks Theatre, Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio

May 19-June 11, 2011
Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, 7:30

Clov…………………………………………Terence Cranendonk

Hamm…………………………………………George Roth*

Nagg…………………………………………Mark Seven

Nell……………………………………………Dorothy Silver

Tickets are $29, $27 for museum members, and may be purchased online at, by phone at 888-CMA-0033, or in person (in advance) at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland. Tickets will also be available one hour before each performance at the Cleveland Play House.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261