Castillo and New Yiddish Rep to Stage WAITING FOR GODOT in First-Ever Yiddish-Language Production, 9/20-10/13
The Castillo Theatre and the New Yiddish Rep join forces for an unusual cultural "mash up": Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot will be performed for the first time in Yiddish. The New Yiddish Rep is introducing an avant-garde classic to its audience of Yiddish Theatremayvens, while Castillo's multicultural audience will learn about the history and influence of Yiddish Theatre while experiencing a Yiddish performance for the first time. These two theatres with uniquely different audiences and artistic missions team up to introduce a modern classic of the theatre to new audiences.
Waiting for Godot is one of the most significant plays of the 20th century, and Irish-born avant-garde playwright Samuel Beckett was one of the most influential writers of his time. A member of the French Resistance in World War II and a Nobel Laureate for Literature (awarded in 1969), Beckett wrote this play in 1948-'49.
Romanian director Moshe Yassur sees the two displaced protagonists, Vladimir and Estragon as survivors. "The Jewish people are specialists in waiting," he says. His production - directed in the style of traditional Yiddish Theatre - casts a unique light on Godot, as a millennium of Jewish history and culture echo hauntingly through Beckett's minimalist, evocative, and savagely humorous masterpiece. It's a transformative journey, and a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience.
The multiracial cast features David Mandelbaum (the artistic director of the New Yiddish Rep) as "Estragon" and Shane Baker (who also translated the play) as "Vladimir," as well as Rafael Goldwaser (coming from France to be in the production) as "Lucky," Avi Hoffman (a Bronx-born actor who made his stage debut at age 10 on the stage of the Yiddish Folksbiene Theater) as "Pozzo," and 9-year-old Nicholas Jenkins (making his off-off-Broadway debut) as "boy." (Jenkins is the son of AUDELCO Award-winning actress Ava Jenkins, who will star in Castillo's next play, FrEd Newman's Stealin' Home, opening October 20.)
Performances will be held at the Castillo Theatre (Dan Friedman, artistic director, Diane Stiles, managing director) located at 543 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Group rates are available. Tickets can be purchased through the Castillo Box Office at 212-941-1234 or go to www.castillo.org.