Article Title

A Footnote to Footfalls: Footsteps of Infinity on Beckett's Narrow Space


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Footfalls, " a very small play" with "a lot of problems concerning precision,"1 had its world premiere performance on May 20, 1976, as part of a triple bill with Play and That Time at the Samuel Beckett Festival celebrated at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Beckett, who directed the British production starring Billie Whitelaw as May, staged a new German version several months later at the Schiller-Theater Werkstatt in Berlin. The English version was performed again that same year at the Kreeger Theatre in Washington D.C., and late in 1977 Alan Schneider re-interpreted his original American production for the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. Even after four major productions of this thirty-minute work, Footfalls continues to affect its audiences as a theatricalized enigma. What are we to make of the seemingly endless pacing of a female protagonist wearing "the costume of a ghost"2 on the narrow strip of space suddenly illuminated before our eyes?

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