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Symposium marks Beckett centenary, April 14

A symposium celebrating the life and work of Irish writer Samuel Beckett is set for 2:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 14, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

The Samuel Beckett Centenary Symposium will take place one day after what would have been Beckett's 100th birthday. The playwright, novelist and poet, most renowned for his play "Waiting for Godot," died in 1989.

Leading off the symposium will be an illustrated lecture by John Minihan, whose friendship with Beckett resulted in some of the most striking black and white portraits of the writer. His lecture is titled "Samuel Beckett and the Wake of Katy Tyrell." At 3:30 p.m., John Harrington of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who has written extensively on Irish literature and theater, will speak on "Beckett and America."

"Beckett Now," a discussion about the current status of Beckett's reputation, recent trends in Beckett studies and issues related to the performance of Beckett's works in the theater and on film, will follow at 4:30 p.m. Moderated by Michael Cadden, director of Princeton's Program in Theater and Dance, this session will feature Princeton scholars Kimberly Bohman, Maria DiBattista and Michael Wood.

The symposium will conclude at 8 p.m. with Irish filmmaker Seán Ó Mórdha introducing a screening of his classic documentary, "Samuel Beckett: Silence to Silence." Shot on location in Dublin and France, this film traces the artistic life of Beckett through his prose, plays and poetry.

Each section of the symposium will be followed by questions and discussion. The event, which is open to the public, is sponsored by Princeton's Fund for Irish Studies. For more information and a schedule, visit the symposium's Web site

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