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Krapp's Last Tape

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Krapp’s Last Tape is a one-act play by that enigmatic 20th century scribe Samuel Beckett. It has one actor onstage for less than an hour. During that nearly sixty minutes under the scrutiny of the limelight, the character, named Krapp, celebrates his 69th birthday by reviewing reel-to-reel audio recordings made throughout his adult life.

Cryptic to the point of being largely indecipherable, this 1958 script was written by Beckett with one actor in mind: Irishman Patrick Magee. In fact, Beckett was so specifically inspired by this particular performer that he initially titled the piece The Magee Monologue.

In the half-century since the show’s premiere, several notable thespians have tried their hand at embodying Krapp. Such theatrical luminaries as Rick Cluchey (of the San Quentin Drama Workshop in 1977), Brian Dennehy (at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 2010), and Michael Gambon (at Dublin’s Gate Theatre, in 2010) have had distinguished turns attempting to incarnate Krapp. Even that pause-privy playwright Harold Pinter had his turn as Krapp, in nine sold-out performances at Great Britain’s Royal Court Theatre in 2006.

So Cal theatergoers now have the opportunity to experience another acclaimed interpreter of Beckett strut his stuff as Mr. Krapp. Indeed, John Hurt first performed as Krapp in a 2001 television production. Since November of 2011, Hurt, under the direction of Michael Colgan, has reprised the role in a pre-Broadway run at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C., before moving on to a limited Broadway stint.

Currently, Hurt is on the boards at Culver City’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. Again, under Michael Colgan’s largely unhelpful direction, Krapp remains as frustratingly vague as any play one is likely to experience. Nevertheless, for aficionados of the actors' craft, it is intriguing – if not particularly satisfying – to see this able actor apply his ample skills of stagecraft to this mordant characterization.

Krapp’s Last Tape continues at the Kirk Douglas Theatre – 9820 Washington Boulevard, Culver City – through November 4. For reservations, dial (213) 972 – 7231. For online ticketing and further information, visit



Laguna Playhouse Announces Ellen Richard as its Interim Executive Director

May 3, 2016…Laguna Beach, Calif…Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors announced today that, later this month, Ellen Richard will be joining Laguna Playhouse as its Interim Executive Director. The Playhouse announced late last year that it was undertaking a national search guided by Arts Consulting Group (ACG) for an Executive Director to succeed Karen Wood who had held this position for the past eight years.

Commenting on the appointment Joe Hanauer and Paul Singarella, Co-Chairmens of the Board of Directors, said “In the midst of our search we encountered this wonderful opportunity to engage Ellen while we continue to seek appropriate long-term leadership. To have found someone with the extraordinary qualifications that Ellen has is thrilling. She is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company where she was Managing Director. Ellen also has strong successes in supervising the construction of theatres in New York and also in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theater, a rare and valuable skill set considering the contemplated major remodel and expansion of the Laguna Playhouse.” Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham adds, “We are pleased and proud to have Ellen Richard, truly a rock-star in our field, join us as our interim Executive Director who will help guide the Playhouse during this transition.” Comments Ellen Richard, “I have quickly grown fond of Laguna Beach and the Playhouse. I embrace this extraordinary opportunity to join one of the country’s top regional theatres at this time in its remarkable 95-year history. I look forward to helping the Playhouse and working with their incredible Board of Trustees and Ann E. Wareham.”


Ellen Richard served as Executive Director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from 2010 through 2015.  During her tenure, Ms. Richard negotiated a deal to buy the Strand Theater in tech corridor of Mid-Market San Francisco, helped raise the $34,000 million to renovate and operate it and steered the design and construction for the project which opened in May of 2015. The complex featured two performance spaces and has won multiple awards.  She opened the 50 seat Costume Shop Theater, a 49-seat “black box” venue used for the company’s Master of Fine Arts students and for shows by other local companies.  Ms. Richard was also credited with expanding the company’s educational efforts, coming up with programs like the San Francisco Semester, which brings undergraduate acting students to ACT from around the world, and Stage Coach, a community theater mobile unit that reaches into diverse neighborhoods

She was also Executive Director of The Second Stage Theatre in New York City. During her tenure at Second Stage, which began in 2006 (through 2009), she was responsible for the purchase contract of the Helen Hayes Theatre, growth in subscription income of 48 percent, and growth in individual giving of 75 percent, as well as conceptualization of a highly successful gala format and “Second Generation,” a giving program through which donors enable deserving New York City youth to experience live theater. Under Ms. Richard’s leadership, Second Stage provided the initial home for the Broadway productions Everyday Rapture, Next to Normal, and The Little Dog Laughed.

From 1983 to 2005, Ms. Richard enjoyed a rich and varied career with Roundabout Theatre Company. The Roundabout that Ms. Richard joined was a small nonprofit theater company in bankruptcy. By the time she departed as Managing Director, Roundabout had become one of the country’s largest and most successful theater companies of its kind, with net assets in excess of $67 million dollars. Ms. Richard is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer, for Roundabout productions of Cabaret (1998), A View from the Bridge (1998), Side Man (1999), Nine (2003), Assassins (2004), and Glengarry Glen Ross (2005). As producer of more than 125 shows at Roundabout, she had direct supervision of all management and marketing functions. She created Roundabout’s “Theatre-PLUS” programs, which include singles, teachers, family, gay and lesbian, wine tasting, and the 7 p.m. “Early Curtain” series, all of which grew to represent more than 10 percent of Roundabout’s 40,000 subscribers.

As director of design and construction at Roundabout, Ms. Richard was responsible for more than $50 million of theater construction for 11 projects. She conceptualized the three permanent Roundabout stages — The Broadway venues of Studio 54 and the American Airlines Theatre, and the Off-Broadway venue The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre She directed the location search for Cabaret and oversaw the creation of the production’s environmental Kit Kat Klub. Prior to her tenure at Roundabout, Ms. Richard served as business manager of Westport Country Playhouse, theater manager for Stamford Center for the Arts, and business manager for Atlas Scenic Studio. She began her career working as a stagehand, sound designer, and scenic artist assistant.