• Waiting for Godot

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    • Abstract: Dramatists Play Service. Catalog of Plays, 2002. Understanding Absurdism. The name theatre ... auditioning for a play they were producing, Zooman & the Sign. ...

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Samuel Beckett The Department of Dramatic Arts J PAC Theatre USA Bonnie Woolley The Department of Dramatic Arts J PAC 1052 L Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002
Volume 2, No. 3 February 2003 Published 5 Times Annually
Theatre USA
Waiting for
An absurdist play by
Samuel Beckett
February 20 - 24
Theatre USA is proud to
present this classic of the
modern theatre. One of the
most famous and well known of
the absurdist plays, Waiting for
Godot has roused audiences to
demonstrations of enthusiasm
and anger. “Moving, often
funny, grotesquely beautiful
and utterly absorbing.” “At
once pathetic and hilarious.” Model for Waiting for Godot by Scenic Designer Bonnie Woolley
writing in Paris, he returned to
“Brilliant, bitter comedy. It is a Understanding Absurdism About Playwright Trinity to complete a Master’s
portrait of the dogged resilience Samuel Beckett degree and work as a lecturer.
of a man’s spirit in the face of The name theatre of the During this period, he com-
little hope.” absurd applies to a grouping of Although Samuel Barclay pleted his study of Marcel
Waiting for Godot is the plays that can be shown to share Beckett (1906-1989) is best Proust, but eventually became
story of two dilapidated bums certain common structures and known for his play, Waiting for disenchanted with academia,
who fill their days as painlessly styles and to be tied together by Godot, he was in fact a well- gave up his lecturing post and
as they can. They wait for a common philosophical thread: rounded man of letters who, in returned to Europe, leading a
Godot, a personage who will the theory of the absurd as addition to his works for the somewhat nomadic life that no
explain their interminable formulated by French essayist stage, wrote radio plays, novels, doubt eventually influenced
insignificance, or put an end to and playwright Albert Camus. poetry and a biography/ Godot.
it. They are resourceful, with Camus likened the human analytical study of Proust. A Finally settling in Paris
quarrels and their dependence condition to that of the native Irishman, Beckett wrote around 1937, Beckett spent the
on each other, as children are. mythological Corinthian king in both French and English. war years working with the
They pass the time “which Sisyphus, who, because of his After he graduated from Trinity French Resistance until, in
would have passed anyway.” A cruelty, was condemned forever College in Dublin, he moved to 1942, he and his French-born
brutal man of means comes by, to roll a stone up a hill in Hades Paris to study and begin work paramour escaped to the
leading a weakling slave who only to have it roll back down on his first “book,” a long poem Unoccupied Zone (Beckett
does his bidding like a me- again upon nearing the top. called “Whoroscope,” about the would later be awarded the
chanical doll. Later, he returns, Camus saw the modern philosopher Rene Descartes, for Croix de Guerre for his efforts).
blind, and his slave is mute, but individual as similarly engaged which he won a prize of ten After the Germans were ousted
the relationship is unchanged. in an eternally futile task, the pounds. He also became friends from the City of Lights in
Every day a child comes from absurdity of searching for some with fellow Irish expatriate 1945, Beckett returned and
the unknown Godot, and meaning or purpose or order in James Joyce, and is rumored to resumed his writing career. En
evasively puts the big arrival off human life. To Camus, the have had a relationship with the Attendant Godot, written in
until tomorrow. immutable irrationality of the older writer’s psychologically French in 1948, was only one
--Dramatists Play Service universe is what makes this task disturbed daughter Lucia. After of a slew of novels, plays, short
Catalog of Plays, 2002. See Absurdism page 2 several years of study and See Beckett page 3
Artist Spotlight Margarette Joyner, Costume Designer for Waiting for Godot, is a junior, nontraditional B.F.A.
Costume Designer student. That means she’s already accomplished a lot in her life. She started her academic career at
Margarette Joyner Miami Dade Community College as a Journalism Major “more than a few years ago”. She has a grown
daughter of whom she’s very proud. And she’s an ex-marine. Not your traditional B. F. A student.
Her answer to how she got here starts with, “By the grace of God”. Her first theatrical experience
came when working as secretary at the African American Cultural Arts Center in Miami. She was cast in the lead after reluctantly
auditioning for a play they were producing, Zooman & the Sign. She was hooked. Since she had been sewing since the age of 14,
soon she was not only the secretary/registrar for the Cultural Arts Center but also the costumer for the ‘M’ Ensemble Theatre
Company based there. While there she created costumes for Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, The Colored Museum, Livin’ Fat, and her
favorite, Fat Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin.
She came to Mobile to help a friend and decided to stay. She started her career at USA last January. Costume Design faculty
member Rebecca Britton found out she knew how to sew and recruited Margarette as a paid Costume Shop assistant. Britton
quickly realized she’d found a gem. After working with her on Dancing at Lughnassa and Romeo & Juliet as a stitcher and draper she
encouraged her to interview for a Costume position with one of the professional companies attending the Southeastern Theatre
Conference in Mobile.
The result? Margarette was hired as a Cutter/ Draper with the Lost Colony working with New York Designers William Ivy
Long and Carl Curnutts and director Terrence Mann. “ I was a little intimidated at first but Rebecca told me I’d discover I knew
more than I thought I did. Fortunately she was right.” A successful summer has led to an invitation back, maybe as Shop Manager.
“We’re in negotiations.” An additional perk from the summer was a relationship with Mrs. Andy Griffith who needed someone to
build an evening dress for a special event. That worked out so well Mrs. Griffith had her make another one this past Fall.
She plans to graduate in December 2004. After that she’s thinking of heading to California and breaking into film. Also a
delightful performer and singer, Margarette received an Irene Ryan nomination for her performance as Mama Mallard in Eager
Beaver Builds A Damn.
Margarette’s advise to anyone going into theatre as a career? “ Make sure you like it. It’s a lot of hard work but the end result is
worth it.”
Absurdism from page 1
absurd. On the one hand, the fantasy and poetry of other The Cast for
human beings yearn for a “lost” nonrealists, the absurdists have Waiting for Godot
unity and lasting truth; on the distinguished themselves by
other hand, the world can only creating clocks that clang
Vladimir:..............Paul Thomas
be seen as irrecoverably incessantly, characters that eat
Estragon: .............. David Mims
fragmented–chaotic, perma- pap in ashcans, corpses that
Pozzo: ...........Amanda Murdick
nently unorganized, and grow by the minute, and
Lucky: ............... Mason Merrill
permanently unorganizable. personal interactions that are
Youth: ...................... Jean Parker
The plays that constitute belligerently noncredible.
the theatre of the absurd are Samuel Beckett, poet,
obsessed with the futility of all playwright, and novelist, is
action and the pointlessness of perhaps the foremost explorer
all direction. These themes are of human futility in Western
developed theatrically through a literature. Beckett eschews
deliberate and self-conscious realism, romanticism, and
flaunting of the “absurd”–in the rationalism to create works that
sense of the ridiculous. Going are relentlessly unenlightening,
beyond the use of symbols and that are indeed committed to a
final obscurity. “Art has nothing
to do with clarity, does not
dabble in the clear, and does
Coming not make clear,” argues Beckett
in one of his earliest works, and
April 24 - 28 his theatre is based on the thesis
that man is and will remain
The Tony Award ignorant regarding all matters of
Winning Musical importance.
–Cohen, Robert. Theatre.
CABARET Third Ed. Mountain View, CA:
Mayfield Publishing Co., 1981,
p. 254-55. Assistant Lighting Designer Robert Tucker hangs lights for Waiting for Godot
From the Director play a laugh sensation. You
Lou Courie may not find it so, but I do
hope you won’t dwell on the
Waiting for Godot is about sadness of the men’s plight and
two men with a pointless will allow yourself to see the
existence who do nothing with love of each for the other and
their lives except wait. How’s enjoy the small ways in which
that for entertainment? Yet, the they amuse themselves.
play is funny - at least I hope The characters, Vladimir
you find it so. No doubt it and Estragon, exist in a timeless
forces us to think about the environment, and even though
degree to which we are gov- there are references in the play
erned by time and subject to that could suggest France,
forces beyond our control. We Samuel Beckett, the playwright,
know, however, that the has clearly indicated that he
playwright’s intent was to allow means for the place to be non-
us to laugh along the way on specific. As a result, I have
this journey to nowhere. He removed some of the distracting
once suggested that he often place names. In addition, as
thought of Buster Keaton, the you can plainly see, the design
great comic and silent film star, elements, especially the set
as the perfect Estragon. Indeed, design, emphasize the generic
the play has had many produc- nature of the place. It resembles
tions, in Europe and in a country road about as much
America, in which trained as Picasso’s women resemble
vaudeville comedians have females. The design is modern,
Costume Rendering by Margarette Joyner means to be human, to exist.
taken on the main roles. the costumes are a mixed bag of
periods or perhaps of no period, Beckett from page 1 He had perhaps reached the
The play can be disturbing, stories, and other writings culmination of his search as a
however, and if one comes to and the lighting often is not
naturalistic. Beckett completed during this playwright for the meaning of
the theatre expecting drawing period. human existence that had
room comedy, or mindless, In this production, I have
tried to establish that the two Although Godot, which begun with his book on
frothy escapist entertainment, premiered in January of 1953, Descartes, the philosopher who
then one is flat out of luck and men are friends and that they
complement one another, one is was hugely popular, with several said “I think, therefore, I am.”
perhaps more than a little hundred performances at Beckett’s fame continued to
disappointed. When Bert Lahr cerebral, the other passionate, as
if they were two halves of the Theatre de Babylone in Paris in spread. In 1969 he was awarded
played Estragon in a Miami its initial run, Beckett’s place as the Nobel Prize for Literature.
production, he received hate same person and yet individu-
als. Either way, they do a master dramatist of the He continued writing, translat-
mail from outraged audience Absurd was really solidified ing his own plays and produc-
members. One read: nothing, but wait. They wait
for Godot. Is Godot God? I when his other great stage ing new works, like 1967’s
Dear Mr. Lahr: work, Fin de Partie, or television drama Eh Joe, albeit
How can a man who don’t know. Beckett himself
says that if he had wanted them Endgame, premiered at the less prolifically and with some
has charmed the youth of Royal Court in London in 1957 degree of personal distaste for
America as the Lion in The to wait for God, he would have
said so explicitly. But we see in in French. Like Godot, the the task. A solitary man,
Wizard of Oz appear in a play philosophical themes, unrealis- Beckett became a celebrity of
which is obviouslycommunistic, it what we see. I hope you see
enough to be glad you came to tic settings, and dream-like the dramatic arts and of
atheistic and existential! language of Endgame continued Absurdism in particular, but
Lahr, however, thought the the theatre.
Beckett’s exploration of what it rarely gave interviews or
appeared publicly. His wife and
Ticket & Box Office Information Phone (251) 460-6306 de facto manager, the same
woman with whom he fought
Tickets for Theatre USA Production of Waiting for Godot for the liberation of Paris, died
General Admission $10.00 Students* $ 7.00 in 1989.
With Godot, Endgame, and
The Box Office will be open Monday, February, 17 through Friday, February 21 from 10:00 Happy Days, among others,
am to 5:00 pm and one hour before each performance at the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Box Beckett set the standard for the
Office. T ickets are sold on a first come first served basis. All seats reserved. All sales final. No examination of humanity in the
refunds or exchanges. theater. His works will forever
* Student tickets available for all students with valid ID. One ticket per ID. stand as a milepost for the
development of modern drama.
U.S. Postage
Permit No. 506
Department of Dramatic Arts Mobile, AL
University of South Alabama
PAC 1052
Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002
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The Department of Dramatic Arts
Theatre USA
Samuel Beckett’s
Waiting for Godot
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, February 20 - 22
and Monday, February 24 @ 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 23 @ 2:00 pm
Laidlaw Performing Arts Center
on the University of South Alabama Campus

Use: 0.3179