This weekend marks the start of Charter Arts’s 15th anniversary theatre season with the first play of our year, Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett. Godot chronicles two days in the lives of Estragon and Vladamir as they semi-patiently wait on the side of a trail for the mysterious Godot. An essential landmark in absurdist theatre, Godot isn’t often performed by high schools, or in general. It’s difficult to mount as much of the dialogue and action is metaphorical and can be interpreted in wildly different ways. Though the material is tough, and the concepts are abstract, Godot is an incredibly important play for both its style and content. The play stars Dylan Gombos and Max Vermillion as Vladamir and Estragon, Josiah Rendon as Pozzo, Gavin Ronald as Lucky, and Arron Finkle as the Boy.
In an interview with Christopher Morris, a member of the theatre faculty and director of Waiting for Godot, I asked why Charter Arts students should attend the production, and it really all boiled down to one important point. This piece is hard to find; it’s not going to be anything like mainstream theatre. It will ask questions, it will challenge ideas, and it will present new views and concepts often taken for granted in everyday life.
When asked how Godot could relate to art forms aside from theatre, Morris said, “I think the common thread amongst different artistic mediums is probably the abstractness to it. I think that would be relatable to a dancer or a musician.” And in fact, the abstractness of this piece can be considered its strongest element. He adds, “I hope that audiences walk away, maybe not having an opinion right away, but maybe processing what they’ve just seen and putting together whatever semblance of a story they can take from Beckett’s words and our production together. That they can allow this thing to exist somewhere beyond the stage and have some sort of personal meaning.”
The play is presented with its text and themes, but does not force a meaning or reaction from the audience. As Mr. Morris aptly stated, “Beckett says there is no definite meaning to Godot, and so how could I say what is right or wrong?”
The play itself is beautifully written and tells an incredible story while maintaining a high degree of humor throughout. The interview ended with the simple question of, “why should students see Godot, and why should it be done at a high school?” Mr. Morris responded with, “Because it is not something normally done in a high school. It is not even something that is perhaps very popular… Anyone could see that this is not the norm, and I am intrigued by plays that challenge our students, and that challenge our audiences.”
Make sure to come out and see Waiting for Godot this Friday and Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. Regular tickets for students are 8 dollars, but if your teacher has assigned this as part of their class, simply mention that you wish to purchase an “assignment ticket” at the box office, and it will be yours for 6 dollars. At Charter Arts, we as a student body have the amazing ability to explore and create art in areas that other students would never see, but in order to do that, we need support from our fellow peers.