Three One Acts! A Trio of Short Works by Albee, Beckett and Ionesco

by Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett, and Eugène Ionesco

L'Etage Cabaret
September 10 - 14, 2006
Directed by Tina Brock and Charlie DelMarcelle
Postcard - Front
First Musician
Jake Moore
Second Musician
Daniel Robaire
The Sandbox
by Edward Albee
Young Man
Daniel Robaire
Tina Brock
Dennis Smeltzer
Janey Giel
Jake Moore
by Samuel Beckett
Director’s Assistant
Tina Brock
Dennis Smeltzer
Bob Schmidt
Ryan McMenamin
The Leader
by Eugéne Ionesco
Daniel Robaire
Dennis Smeltzer
Girl Admirer
Janey Giel
Young Lover
Bob Schmidt
Girl Lover
Tina Brock
The Leader
Jake Moore

Director, The Sandbox and The Leader

Tina Brock

Director, Catastrophe

Charlie Delmarcelle

Costume Design/Construction

Anna Vallejo

Sound Design

Tina Brock

Stages Manager/Lights and Sound

Ryan McMenamin

Dramaturg/Assistant Stage Manager

Nate Black

Production Manager

Bob Schmidt

THE SANDBOX produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

CATASTROPHE and THE LEADER produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.


Playing time is 60 minutes; there will be no intermission,

but a brief change of scenery between plays. Feel free to visit the bar and

accommodations, located in the lobby, throughout the show. 


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3 Leg Torso from 3 Leg Torso and Astor in Paris


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Edward Albee: (b. 1928)

“Edward Albee is one of the few American exponents of the Theatre of the Absurd. An adopted child, he shares the orphan’s sense of loneliness in an alien world, and the image of the dream child which exists only in the adoptive parents’ imagination recurs in a number of his plays, notably The American Dream and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The latter, which earned him an enormous success on Broadway, is undoubtedly one of the finest American plays since the heyday of Eugene O’Neill. It is a savage dance of death reminiscent of Strindberg, outwardly realistic in form, but in fact, as in the case of Pinter’s best work, existing on at least two levels apart from the realistic one: as an allegory of American society, a poetic image of its emptiness and sterility, and as a complex ritual.”

I have a fine sense of the ridiculous, but no sense of humor.
–Edward Albee


Samuel Beckett: (b. 1906 – 1989)

“Of the dramatists of the Absurd, Samuel Beckett is undoubtedly the profoundest, the greatest poet. Waiting for Godot and Endgame are certainly masterpieces; Happy Days and Play, Krapp’s Last Tape, and the two Acts without Words (where language has drained away altogether) are brilliant and profound poetic images.  His plays are concerned with human suffering and survival, and his characters are struggling with meaninglessness and the world of the Nothing. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. Upon learning of the award, his wife, Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil, commented: “This is a catastrophe.” Beckett refused to attend the Nobel ceremony. In his writings for the theater Beckett showed influence of burlesque, vaudeville, the music hall, commedia dell’arte, and the silent-film style of such figures as Keaton and Chaplin.

Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better.
–Samuel Beckett


Eugene Ionesco: (b. 1909 – 1994)

“Eugène Ionesco is undoubtedly the most fertile and original of the dramatists of the Absurd, and also, in spite of a streak of clowning and fun for its own sake in his work, one of the most profound. He is moreover the most vocal of the dramatists of the Absurd, the only one who is prepared to discuss the theoretical foundations of his work and to reply to the attacks on it from committed left-wing realists. The critique of language and the haunting presence of death are Ionesco’s chief themes in plays like The Bald Soprano, The Lesson, The Chairs, The Killer, Rhinoceros, and Exit The KingAmédée or How to Get Rid of It (1953) is Ionesco’s first full-length play and contains one of his most telling images. It is also characteristic in its alternation between states of depression and euphoria, leaden oppression and floating on air, an image which reappears through his work.”

 Ideologies separate us.  Dreams and anguish bring us together.
Eugene Ionesco



Three One Acts! (2006)

"...enigmatically, chillingly funny."
"...the over-wrought young political subject's shenanigans are almost worth the ticket price in themselves."
Rachel Frankford, Philadelphia City Paper

Director's Notes

September 2006

“Idiotic… ridiculousness?”

“Idiopathic radical company?”

Idio… radicular…huh?”

Even the lovely woman at the Fringe box office check-in table, after trying in vain to locate our artist welcome information, finally surrendered and pleaded, “can you PLEASE JUST SPELL IT FOR ME?!”

Welcome to the first production from The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, or IRC, for ease of communication.

In one of my many incarnations over the past 15 years, as I’ve attempted to cobble together a living in this business, I worked as a Standardized Patient (recall the Seinfeld episode where Kramer feigned illness for a paycheck?) portraying a sick person for 4th year medical students in testing and teaching environments.  One day, a well-meaning student offered “Idiopathic Radiculopathy” as the cause of my malaise.  He added, “Which basically means there is no known cause of origin for your problem.”

So many syllables, so little communication.

It seemed a suitable name for a theater group presenting absurdist plays illustrating how language can be a vehicle for stereotyped, meaningless exchanges, and how it is often insufficient at expressing the essence of the human experience.

I enjoy imagining what it might have been like to live among these writers in Paris in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, when the plays of Ionesco, Beckett, Arthur Adamov, and others were introduced for the first time. L’Étage -- with its sumptuous environment and velvet-curtained cabaret  -- seemed  an ideal setting for a celebration of their work.

Thanks for spending your evening with us. We hope to see you as we continue exploring “The Theatre of the Absurd” in the months and years to come.

Tina Brock
Artistic Director