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Endgame examines the "white hot core of the human experience"

Described by cast members as a brave and thought-provoking choice for the season, Thunder River Theatre’s production of Endgame by Samuel Beckett takes a foray into the absurd, set in a world far from our own.

KDNK News Director Hattison Rensberry asked members of the cast and crew about some of the themes found in the show, and Assistant Director Jack Trembath spoke first.

"Trembath: My name is Jack Trembath, and I'm assistant director for Endgame. Endgame is packed full of a lot of themes, but essentially at the heart of it is, uh, these two gentlemen - gentlemen, that's a loose term - in this shelter in the post, post, post, post apocalyptic period. One's kind of a caretaker. He moves around while the other is bound to his chair, and then the man in the chair, who's in charge of this bunker, also has his two parents in garbage cans.
Essentially, the relationship between all of them captures the white, hot core of the human experience. It's theater of the absurd, which is more experimental. When we set out to do the play, we ended up asking more questions than answering them. And so, our goal has been to just keep asking those questions throughout the process.

Landis Fulkins: Hi, I'm Brian Landis Fulkins, and I'm playing Clove in Endgame. This definitely leaves the audience with lots to think about. I think they'll come away from the show for days after kind of talking about what they just witnessed on stage there, because in the moment you're just hanging on for the ride.
That's kind of Samuel Beckett style.

Moore: I'm Bob Moore. I'm playing the part of Nag. That's the guy in the trash can in Endgame. Yeah, I'd like to add to that I so appreciate the bravery of TRTC for taking the leap and choosing this show in this season because it's one that the audience really needs to come in and experience.
You know, don't be afraid of a post apocalyptic show. You know, it is not all downer. You know, there are some, there are some wonderful entertaining moments in this show.

Rensberry: Brian, I don't think I've seen you in anything.

Landis Fulkins: This is my first time here in the Valley. I'm very excited to be here. I'm a company member at Curious Theatre, which is in Denver.
It's nice to be up here doing Endgame.

Rensberry: It sounds like the interpersonal dynamics in this show might be something that people would latch on to. As actors in the show, Brian and Bob, do you want to talk a little bit about one particular character that you might interact with?

Landis Fulkins: It's interesting. There's only four people in the show. And my character, Clove, is the only person that moves. Everybody else is stationary for the entire show. So I'm very much the clown, in kind of a traditional sense. I get to interact with everybody. Each character brings a different perspective to this very strange world in this post post post, to coin the term from Jack, an apocalyptic place.
And I think each voice has kind of a, a sense of a different part of your mind. I think there are moments where everybody will find. A place in one of the characters that they identify with over the course of the show.

Moore: So, you know, my interaction with the other characters on the play, because I'm one of the people who does not move around, you know, is through dialogue only.
And strangely enough, David Lettingham's character, Ham, faces away from me. The entire show. The only thing I see of him is the back of his head. So it's a really strong, tight script which gives us as actors the chance to interact because that's what we do even though we don't physically touch one another.
Yeah, it's, it's a cool piece.

Rensberry: Jack, how many other assistant director opportunities have you had before? Is this a new thing for you?

Trembath: This is my first time assistant directing and so an opportunity not only to do Beckett, but to watch Everybody in the cast is a powerhouse of an actor So I'm like what a great opportunity as an actor myself to learn and watch this process and then Renee The list goes on about compliments for her.
So it's a great opportunity.

Rensberry: Are there any other feelings or thoughts you have that you want to share?

Trembath: It really is incredibly funny. There's so many funny moments. There's a moment where, um, Clove has a flea, and I'm dying laughing almost every rehearsal. I would not be intimidated by the fact that it is Beckett.
One, we aren't trying to be clever. We're really just doing what the play wants, and Amongst all that laughter, there's that darkness as well.

Moore: The cool thing about being in theater and being in this valley for a long time for me is, uh, I've had the wonderful opportunity to work with Wendy Perkins, who is playing Nell.
So I've had a chance to do shows with her in the past, and then my good friend David Ledingham, I've certainly acted with him. So it's really nice to kind of join forces with old friends, you know, it really is. And of course, Brian, not here, but certainly in theater throughout the rest of the state.

Landis Fulkins: Yeah, there's a reason Beckett is a master of playwright in kind of the history of theater.
These pieces are timeless. They, they speak to what it is just to exist. They speak to the things that we battle in our mind and also the absurdity of living and kind of the humor that we find. In suffering, even this kind of material speaks volumes, just about what it means to be alive and the things that we face over the course of our life."

That was KDNK’s Hattison Rensberry speaking with Bob Moore, Brian Landis Fulkins, and Jack Trembath. Endgame opens tonight, February 16th and runs through March 3rd. The show is suited for audiences highschool age and up. Tickets for evening and matinee shows are available at: ThunderRiverTheatre.com

Hattison Rensberry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and Drawing, but has worked for newsrooms in various capacities since 2019.
She also provides Editorial Design for the Sopris Sun.