Virtual Course | Reading Samuel Beckett, The Shorter Plays with Lois More Overbeck [in progress]

Date / Time

  • February 1, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • February 15, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • March 1, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • March 15, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


This program is sponsored by Lenore H. Steiner and Perry A. Lerner


  • Tuition for this course is $200, $180 Delancey Society and Members.
  • Rosenbach members receive a 10% discount on tuition.
  • Not a member? We invite you to join upon registration. Click here for more information about membership.
  • This course is limited to participants who are 17 years of age or older.
  • Before the first meeting, The Rosenbach will send the Zoom link for course meetings. 
  • Two complimentary tickets to visit The Rosenbach are included with your paid registration for this virtual course. You will receive the discount code in your email confirmation and tickets can be booked here. Please check your spam folder for your email confirmation.
  • If you have questions about registration, please call (215) 732-1600 or email [email protected].
  • Registration opens for Delancey Society members on November 15, for members on November 22, and for the general public on November 29.



Course Description

Samuel Beckett’s full-length plays, especially Waiting for GodotEndgame, and Happy Days, are fairly well-known, but his shorter plays are less frequently produced. In a series of seminars on the shorter plays, Dr. Overbeck will introduce these intriguing  dramas through close reading and open discussion of the texts. Dr. Overbeck will also share background about Beckett’s short plays from the Letters of Samuel Beckett. Participants will learn about the past performances of the plays and Dr. Overbeck will make the links to online video materials available.   

Beckett’s work is seminal to the comparative study of languages, literature and theater in the 20th century. At the same time, his writing is immediate and accessible. Drama teacher Andrew Spacey, who introduces Beckett’s short works to young people and adults with learning disabilities, wrote: “You don’t have to be anything other than human to enjoy Beckett.” As a creative innovator, Beckett expanded every genre in which he worked. His shorter plays are written for stage, radio, television, and film. Readers will find Beckett’s interest in the visual arts and music throughout his work. Indeed, his close relationships with other writers, theater artists, painters, and musicians led to his collaborative works.

Generations of students and a wide international audience celebrate Beckett’s work . Beckett received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 for his writing, in which “the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation.” Join these discussions if you already enjoy Beckett’s work or if you want to discover something new. Fair warning, the images from his writing will remain with you for a long time.

Syllabus for Reading Samuel Beckett, the Shorter Plays

About the Instructor

Lois More Overbeck is Director of the Letters of Samuel Beckett Project in the English Department of Emory University. She served as Research Associate, The Graduate School, Emory University since 1990, and Visiting Lecturer, Department of Theatre Studies, Emory University. She was authorized by Samuel Beckett as Co-Editor of The Letters of Samuel Beckett published by Cambridge University Press in four volumes (2009-2016). In collaboration with the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship and the Rose Library at Emory, she is currently developing two open access databases, The Location Register of the Letters of Samuel Beckett in Public Archives, and an interactive index, The Linked Data Project of the Letters of Samuel Beckett in Public Archives. 

Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships may be available for this course. For more information, please contact Emilie Parker at [email protected].

About Rosenbach Courses

Revisit beloved classics or experience new ones with Rosenbach courses. Book lovers delve into fiction, history, and poetry with the guidance of a literary expert and the company of other readers. See all upcoming courses.

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