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Bill Irwin Joins Seattle Beckett Festival

Cornish College of the Arts presents an evening with Irwin, Oct. 27, at Seattle Rep

Seattle, WA -- Cornish College of the Arts, in association with the Seattle Beckett Festival and Seattle University, presents master actor and clown Bill Irwin for an evening of performance and conversation about the works of dramatist Samuel Beckett. Irwin will perform selections from Beckett’s canon and discuss his work on the major plays and adaptations with Marcie Sillman, KUOW senior host.


Bill Irwin has a long history with the works of Samuel Beckett including performing Beckett’s Waiting for Godot on Broadway and at Lincoln Center; adapting Beckett’s Texts for Nothing for the stage; and playing Hamm in Endgame at the American Conservatory Theater in 2012.


“We’re so thrilled to have Bill Irwin join us for the Seattle Beckett Festival,” said George Mount, artistic director of Seattle Shakespeare Company and festival organizer. “His connection to Seattle and Beckett goes back to Waiting for Godot at The Rep in 1996. During the early planning stages of the Festival, the theatre groups participating talked about bringing in a noted national artist associated with Beckett’s works. Bill Irwin was our top choice but we didn’t think it could actually happen. We couldn’t be more excited.” 


Irwin’s long and rich association with Seattle Repertory Theatre also includes Largely New York (1989), Moliere’s Scapin (1995) and Fool Moon (1998), which was presented at the Fifth Avenue Theatre.


In 2012, Irwin was the featured performer at the Cornish annual gala, An Evening of the Arts. As part of this year’s trip, he also will be giving workshops for Cornish and Seattle University students.


“This is an incredible opportunity for our students and we’re thrilled to be part of this event,” said Richard E.T. White, chair of theater at Cornish College of the Arts.


Seattle Shakespeare Company and Theatre Puget Sound, in conjunction with 15 Seattle based arts organizations make up the Seattle Beckett Festival 2014. The festival, which runs from August through November, features play performances and readings of Beckett’s poetry and prose, screenings of his films, master classes on Beckett, pop-up performance events, presentations of the radio plays, and more.

More about Bill Irwin

​A founding member of San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus, Bill Irwin has been recognized with a National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers Fellowship as well as a MacArthur Fellowship. His original works, with many collaborators, include Fool Moon, Largely New York, The Harlequin Studies, Mr. Fox: A Rumination, The Happiness Lecture, and The Regard of Flight.


Other theater credits include Broadway productions of Bye Bye Birdie, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, and Accidental Death of an Anarchist; Broadway and West End revivals of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2005 Tony Award, Helen Hayes Award); Scapin at Roundabout Theatre Company; and The Tempest, Garden of Earthly Delights, A Flea in Her Ear, The Seagull, A Man’s a Man, 3 Cuckolds, and 5-6-7-8 Dance. The 2003–04 Signature Theatre season was devoted to his original work, and he has been an affiliate artist with Roundabout and A.C.T.


Irwin’s television credits include Monday Mornings, Lights Out, Bill Irwin: Clown Prince, The Regard of Flight, and the closing ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Games. His film credits include Rachel Getting Married, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Igby Goes Down, Lady in the Water, Dark Matter, Raving, Across the Universe, Popeye, Eight Men Out, Silent Tongue, Illuminata, My Blue Heaven, A New Life, Scenes from a Mall, and Stepping Out.


Bill Irwin: On Beckett

Seattle Repertory 

Theatre/Leo K Theatre 

Monday, October 27 7:30 pm 

Tickets: $25 

Students/Seniors/Theatre Puget Sound Members: $10 

Tickets available in advance through brownpapertickets.com 

Performance of Beckett selections followed by a conversation with Marcie Sillman, KUOW senior host. 

More about Cornish College of the Arts

Begun in 1914, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Art, Dance, Design, Performance Production and Theater, a Bachelor of Music degree and an Artist Diploma in Early Music. Since its beginning, the College’s founder Nellie Cornish, and the many teaching artists who followed her, believed in education through exposure to all the arts. This approach continues to inform the College’s curriculum and community involvement today. The College is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. For more information, please visit: www.cornish.edu.