" Katie Taber was young and beautiful, costumed in a black vintage dress with a hint of red petticoats. Her appearance allowed spectators to see the memory of wholeness and happiness that suffuses the elderly character's narrative of breakdown and decay. Her body seemed deeply relaxed, the angles of spine and head worked like brush strokes to suggest pain, age, and withdrawal. The language ebbed, rushed, and repeated without ever seeming monotonous or unnatural. Though the play explores the experience of aging and the approach of dissolution, the ultimate effect is not depressing. Memories, characters, and voices fill the room to make a profound case for how much life can be distilled from the most diminished human situations."
- The International Beckett Circle
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By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Joanna Settle
Around-the-Coyote Festival, Chicago
September 2001

About the Text:

Beckett’s Rockaby was written in English in 1980. This eight-minute play reveals a woman rocking to and fro in a rocker, gazing out a window. Her inner thoughts are heard in voiceover. Occasionally, she speaks in a total of four words. This delicate, rarely produced short is traditionally performed by an elderly actress, but in this case was performed by company member Katie Taber. Director Joanna Settle cast Taber in her continuing commitment to presenting Beckett’s existential questions as faced equally by the old and young.

At the end of the play, the character reflects, “Fuck life,” and ceases to rock. Is she dead?

  Katie Taber as seen in a publicity shot for D13's site-specific Rockaby.
Katie Taber as seen in a publicity shot for D13's site-specific Rockaby.
About the Production:

Rockaby was the second Beckett short that D13 produced by invitation for Wicker Park’s annual Around-the-Coyote Festival. The performance was set in the bay window of a seemingly abandoned apartment, discovered through rooms draped in carpeting and fabrics and littered with overturned furniture. Audiences met at a nearby intersection and were led to this site-specific location, 15-20 at a time. Our intention was to perform as many times as needed to accommodate the audience. We had imagined we would perform 3 or 4 times over the course of the evening, but as word spread, we found ourselves presenting the piece 8 to 10 times to accommodate the nightly crowd.

Rockaby was presented to the public free-of-charge.

Program Information:

Mise-en-Scène : Joanna Settle
Sound Design: Mike Frank
Actor: Katie Taber
Sound and Light Operator: Anne DeAcetis
Special Thanks: Jonathan Pitts