Arcturus Theater CompanyProductions

Embers a radio play by Samuel Beckett


Photo: J. Michael Whalen

Broadcast through special arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc. on behalf of the Estate of Samuel Beckett. All rights reserved.

Date & Location

December 4th, 2014
Radio Fairfax


In early 2013, Arcturus presented a staged version of the radio play, Embers, along with two other short Samuel Beckett plays. Here, we present the work as Beckett himself intended, as a radio play. In Embers, a confused man named Henry tries to make sense of the circumstances of his father’s death, perhaps conjuring up an imagined version of his dead or estranged wife, Ada, but maybe she’s physically present, or is she a ghost? These and other ambiguities are left for the listener to interpret in this eerie and intriguing work.



John Brennan


Wendy Wilmer

Music Master
Riding Master

Joe Shaffner


Anastasiya Orlova



Ross Heath

Sound Designer

J. Michael Whalen


“John Brennan’s performance is stunning, nothing short of mastery. A sort of performance akin to watching a slow motion explosion, impossible to turn away from, startling and raw. Embers is painful in a way that haunts, a way that leaves a mark.”

-Sara Ameigh
DC Theatre Scene

"It was a thrill to hear Arcturus' production of Embers, Beckett's use of radio's unique ability to calibrate sound and silence, resulting in a playing out between an apparent inner reality of what the play's words describe and what the listener hears from exaggerated sounds of the sea, horses' hooves, tramping of boots, etc., presenting a struggle between a listener and voices crowding in from the void."

-Ron Rendell


Special Thanks to

Colin Davies of Radio Fairfax

John Brennan for co-sponsorship