Samuel Beckett's Endgame to be performed by Otero Players

About the Play: Endgame is a one-act play that was originally written in French and translated to English. It was first performed, in French, in 1957 by the royal Court Theatre, in London. The play is set in an empty room with two small windows, but is otherwise devoid of any clear context or setting - an element typical for Beckett’s work. 

About the Playwright: Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906 and raised in a Protestant Irish middle class home. He attended Trinity College and set himself up for an academic career, but after moving to Paris in 1928, he shifted away from the routine of academics. Writing essays, poetry, and novels came early in Beckett’s life, before his two most famous works - Waiting for Godot (1952) and Endgame (1957) -  brought him international acclaim. Beckett wrote many more plays and eventually moved to radio in his later years, before passing away in 1989.

The Characters and Cast: Noah Dohm, as Hamm; Sam Willett, as Clov; Demian Ryder, as Nagg; and Jodyanna Gallegos, as Nell.

Production Crew: Director Cassidy Litle, Assistant Director Jodyanna Gallegos, Costume Designer Jadyn Bevington, Set Designers Megan Dotter and Payge Greigo, Prop Designer Brain Preston, Prop & Advertising Assistant Levi Wiseman, and Ed Stafford Theatre Technical Director Larry Shirley.

From Dohm:

"Acting in a Beckett play has been way different from any other theatre I've done. It's been quite a challenge for me; however, I feel that it has made me improve as an actor.

Although it would seem to be blind and stuck in a chair as Hamm would restrict me as an actor, I feel like it has actually freed me up because I can focus solely on the acting, and this was likely Beckett's intention. This has definitely been my most daunting and challenging role so far, but with the help of my director, Cassidy Litle, I was able to expand my knowledge of acting and it has helped a great deal.

I'm very grateful to have been a part of this production, especially to have had such an awesome cast, crew, and director alongside me. I am also very glad to have gotten my lifelong best friend and roommate Sam Willett to audition!"

From Willett:

"This was my first play ever and it was really cool learning about the process. I enjoyed every minute of it from getting the costumes to getting down the lines. I'm happy that Endgame was my first play. I'm officially hooked and ready to do more acting after this."

From Gallegos:

"Endgame is full of riddles, catch phrases and anxious pauses. I can honestly say this has been one of the hardest plays I have been in because of its seriousness. It takes a different path of psychology with humanity and growing up. It reminds me of what it would be like when I finally leave the nest, in the most creepy way possible maybe. This production will most definitely keep you on your toes the entire time. I would like to thank Mr. Litle for allowing me to be a part of the cast and crew for this play; it has been the most memorable experience for my first college production."

From Ryder:

"Endgame considers some of the most important themes in literature, such as what kind of meaning we may find at life's end - either in respect of our own lives closing, or as regards the eventual finishing of the world entire. Beckett arguably uses science fiction in an extremely light manner in order to explore these thoughts; Endgame is set in the future, but makes no predictions about the trivial details of technological advance, for example. Instead, he uses characters that are each impeded by real and symbolic disabilities that help make them representative of whole classes of humanity. The result is a script that is difficult to read, but somehow easy to follow when spoken. I am very grateful for this chance to perform in La Junta."

Dohm is currently in his third semester at OJC as an undeclared major. He is a student, wrestler, and peer-writing tutor, and a member of the President’s Leadership Program. Noah credits OJC and La Junta with the majority of the positive personal growth he has made after graduating high school, both inside and outside of the classroom. Noah grew up in Broomfield, Colo., three houses down from Sam Willett (Clov), and he graduated from Broomfield High School in 2016. Endgame marks the fifth play Noah has been in; the previous plays all took place in his high school career, the most recent being Hamlet.

It has been a full two years since the last time Noah was on stage, so he is very excited to finally be back and something that he is passionate about. Noah originally came to OJC solely to wrestle and go to school, while these are still priorities, he has found so much more to do and explore at Otero and in La Junta. He believes it is very special that he can not only wrestle and take classes but that he can also act. Coming to OJC has brought and continues to bring renewed vigor, ambition, and vitality to his life. This summer Noah plans to be a hospice home health care volunteer, obtain a yoga certification, and prepare for next year's wrestling season - his last as a Rattler.

Willett came to Otero this last August in order to get his Associate of Science degree. He plans on coming back next semester in order to finish up his degree. Sam will then transfer to another university in Colorado to go pre-med and become a medical doctor. Sam enjoys sports of all kinds as well as gaming and napping. Sam also plans to travel the world one day and discover all the beauty it has to offer.

As a freshman in college, Gallegos is excited to be part of the Otero community. In school she is involved with many things, such as the President’s Leadership Program, Alpine Club, International Relations Organizations, and Student Services Work study. She is currently studying to get her Associate of Arts degree and is then off to Colorado Springs to finish getting her Hospitality Management degree. Gallegos enjoys hanging out with friends, playing the spiciest of Uno’s, and being with her family. As this semester comes to an end, she cannot wait to be part of the Otero Players once again in the oncoming year. Until then, enjoy the show!

Ryder has had years of experience doing all aspects of theatre in Nebraska and Iowa. He has directed numerous works at Omaha's Shelterbelt Theatre and for the Great Plains Theatre Conference, both of which groups serve to help develop and promote the playwrights of tomorrow. He has performed in a wide variety of roles, from Orgon in Moliere's Tartuffe to Captain Beatty in Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and has especially enjoyed being part of works created by his friends, such as Jay Huse's And the Wind Cried Verona and Nick Zadina's The Day Omaha Exploded. Ryder's education is in technical theatre and literature, and he has worked in both design and in dramaturgy. He has never been on a Colorado stage before, however, and is very thankful for the opportunity.

Endgame will be performed at the Ed Stafford Theatre of Otero Junior College, in the Humanities Center. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, and will be at 2 p.m. for the Sunday, April 14 matinee. Doors will open an hour before showtime. All seats are free, and all members of the community are warmly invited.