Theatre: Students act absurd in ‘Endgame’

by Lianna Salva
The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Endgame is usually known as a series of moves at the end of a chess game. Samuel Beckett’s play “Endgame” portrays characters with hopeless circumstances and uses cynical comedy to ease the pain of loneliness that we all feel. Like chess, someone has to lose in life.

Tonight at 8 p.m. is the opening performance of CSU’s production of “Endgame” at the University Theatre in the University Center for the Arts.

“Endgame” takes place in the home of Hamm, played by freshman theater major Tim Garrity. Hamm cannot see or stand and must be served by Clov, played by junior theater and history major, Michael Toland.

Clov does not have the ability to sit. This gives him a hunched appearance, which proved to be an acting challenge, Toland said. However, Toland leapt at the chance to become a part of “Endgame” for its strange qualities.

“Part of being an actor is versatility,” Toland said. “I wanted to strengthen my absurdist theater and my Beckett muscles.”

Nagg, Hamm’s father, is played by sophomore theater and family and consumer sciences major, Tony Vessels.

Both Nagg and Nell, Hamm’s mother, are confined to living in trashcans because they do not have legs.

Hamm’s parents are elderly and continually complain for food, to Hamm and Clov’s dismay.

Nell is played by junior theater major Kelly Oury, who also came across acting challenges with her character. An actor can usually depend on motion by walking around the stage, Oury said. She, however, does not have that option.

“My whole time on stage is in a trash can, and all you can see are the tops of my hands and my face. I’m stuck with voice inflection and facial expression,” Oury said.

This production is directed by Dr. Eric Prince, who is not only a professor of theater at CSU but also the director of CSU’s Center for Studies in Beckett and Performance.

“I believe Beckett to be one of the very greatest writers of all time, and I’m personally so glad he turned away from his novels to write some powerful, enduring plays like ‘Endgame,’” Prince said in an e-mail to the Collegian. “I think our audiences will be impressed at the sheer quality of this production and its high professional standards.”

The Center for Studies in Beckett and Performance was established at CSU in 2002 and is the only one of its kind in the U.S. and Europe, according to Prince. Its purpose is to promote the creations of Beckett as well as new productions that challenge contemporary theater.

Tickets can be purchased at

Staff writer Lianna Salva can be reached at