Professor Zephyr Teachout was featured in a Seven Days (VT) article about her reprisal as Winnie in the Samuel Beckett play Happy Days at the Unadilla Theatre.
In the five years since Zephyr Teachout performed in Happy Days at the Unadilla Theatre, she has run for governor of New York and the U.S. Congress to represent upstate New York, where she lives in the Hudson Valley. Now the former Vermonter is returning to the Marshfield summer theater to reprise her role of Winnie in the Samuel Beckett play.
“It’s a lot easier to tell people what you think about fracking than to memorize Beckett,” Teachout said over the phone, on break from rehearsal. She added that her experience in theater proved useful to her as a candidate for political office.
“I will say that being at the Unadilla, over the years, certainly makes you more comfortable standing up in front of people and telling them what you think about things,” Teachout said.
Playing Winnie, Teachout is buried to her waist in sand with a few objects nearby. From this position, she said, Winnie is determined “to make sense of her life.”
“It’s incredible to have Beckett in your head,” Teachout said. “At first it just seems absurd and, the more you do it, it just seems like life.” The lines she speaks as Winnie are sentences she hears people say in their everyday lives, Teachout said.
With Trump in the White House, the Beckett piece might take on another sense or meaning, Teachout suggested.
“There’s something pretty wild about playing Beckett in the Trump era,” she said. “There’s the daily absurdity—and it’s a grotesque and terrifying absurdity of modern politics.”