Words and Music

by  Samuel Beckett

Radio Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  3m

Words and Music is a complex "radio play” that sets up a dynamic between “Words” and “Music” as two character voices, existing in an uneasy relationship and under the command of a mysterious figure named Croak. 

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Words and Music

by  Samuel Beckett

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m
  • Duration

    Duration

    30 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Fantasy, Experimental
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Words and Music is a complex “radio play” that sets up a dynamic between “Words” and “Music” as two character voices, existing in an uneasy relationship and under the command of a mysterious figure named Croak. A somewhat distracted tyrant, Croak issues commands to both Words and Music – whom he calls “Joe” and “Bob” respectively – to formulate expressions on a series of topics including “Love,” “Age,” and finally “the Face.”

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Reviews

"...like many of Beckett’s short dramatic works, [Words and Music] provides a rich scaffold for the ivy of academic interpretation." - The Modern Word 

"...each production of Words and Music will naturally vary according the cast bringing it to life – the director, conductor, actors and musicians will all have their own interpretations as well." - The Modern Word

Keywords

Aging, Death, Love

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Not Applicable
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Setting: An unidentified "listening" space.
  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Fantasy Costumes, Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

3m

CROAK - a doddery old man, testy and maudlin.
JOE - Words
BOB - Music

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Cast Attributes

  • All Male
  • Cross gender casting
  • Flexible casting

Casting Notes

In the original radio play, Bob (Music) was instrumental music, but in a staged version and actor could play the role. 

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Authors

Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) is widely recognized as one of the greatest dramatists of the twentieth century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. Mr. Beckett is most renowned for his play Waiting for Godot w ...

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Words and Music was recorded and broadcast on the BBC Third Programme on November 13, 1962, and was originally scored by Samuel's cousin, John Beckett. 

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