Seattle Shakespeare Company to Present WAITING FOR GODOT
Performance and reality blend into an imaginative landscape in Seattle Shakespeare Company's production of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Directed by George Mount, Waiting for Godot launches the company's 2014-2015 indoor season in September. Waiting for Godot is part of the city-wide Seattle Beckett Fest running August through November 2014.
A lonely tree at the junction of a dirt road, on a day indistinguishable from any other day, two vagabond souls anxiously wait for their appointed meeting. They bicker, wheedle, tease, ponder, wonder, and hold fast to anything that will give them cause to live until the next day. Samuel Beckett introduced us to Vladimir and Estragon when the world lived in fear of nuclear annihilation. Since then, these two clowns, as well as their fellow travelers Pozzo and Lucky, have helped us take one falteringly-dangerous step after another into an unknown future.
"So this day, is the culmination of about a five year plus process, from my initial idea, to finally getting to hear," said Mount at the first rehearsal for Waiting for Godot. "This play resonates for me in a very personal way. I am really drawn to the inspirations that Beckett was drawn to in physical comedy, clowning, and showmanship. It appeals to me in a similar way that Shakespeare does. It has these archetypal characters with roots in comedy and theatricality, but then it reflects and expands and gets distilled into something that goes even deeper into philosophy and human existence...our place in the universe, or lack thereof."
Mount has placed the production on a stage within a stage, keeping all of the key elements that Samuel Beckett calls for in the script: a country road, a tree, a stone. "There's a repetitiousness of what we do as theatre artists," said Mount. "Coming to the theatre, doing the show, coming home, going back, doing the show. There are actors who play in unlimited runs of something for years at a time. What if Didi and Gogo have been performing together for so long that reality and performance, story and storyteller start to blend and distort until the walls between the two are stripped away completely.
This is the first time Seattle Shakespeare Company has produced Waiting for Godot. Actors Darragh Kennan, Todd Jefferson Moore, and Chris Ensweiler have appeared several times with the company. Kennan played the title role of Hamlet in 2010. Moore recently appeared at Seattle Shakespeare Company as Fool in King Lear. Ensweiler returns after having played Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2011. Jim Hamerlinck is making his Seattle Shakespeare Company debut. Alexander Silva has been a part of Seattle Shakespeare Company's Short Shakes student performance programs.