Alysabeth Clements Mosley
We seriously considered making Godot's publicity tagline 'Yep. We're really doing it.' People talk about Godot, referring to it as if it were an old friend they haven't seen in a while, but when I started asking around, the number of folks who had actually had the opportunity to see it performed was startlingly small. Really? One of the definitive masterpieces of modern theatre? It seemed like a perfect fit for Star Bar.
Of course, the play is deceptively simple - easy to stage and costume, and artistically a bit like tofu, able to absorb the flavor of whatever it's cooked with. In reality, though, Beckett's humble, droll and maddeningly circular dialogue holds ringing truths about the human condition, spoken as if they're meant to do nothing but pass the time in idle discourse. Hey, actors: no pressure!
We had several directors in mind, none of whom were able to commit for a variety of reasons. It seemed a terrible shame to lose access to all that wit and creativity, so when Joe Forbeck mentioned that he and the late Tony Babin had solved a similar problem for Upstart years ago by inviting a series of guest-directors to sit in on a show for short periods of time, adding their own particular ingredients to the marinade, it seemed like that might be just weird enough to work. So, Cory and Brian each gave us a week, and we think it's turned out famously.
I'm pretty sure we all struggle for a sense of relevance; often when we think we've found it we discover we were mistaken. Sometimes it's all we can do just to get through the day, much less contemplate or pursue our larger purpose - if there is such a thing. We find meaning where we can, face difficulties as they arise, make connections when we are able and harbor hope until all is lost... sometimes longer.
And sometimes there's a nice carrot.
WYNOT Radio Theatre:
I had the chance, just under ten years ago, to play Estragon in a production of Waiting for Godot. It's one of those shows - especially if you're an actor - that you sooner or later desire to do: "sample the madness" of Samuel Beckett. Most plays have some defined "thing" in their DNA; some element that dictates what the play is at its core. I would argue the thing that makes Godot brilliant is it doesn't conform to this rule. Godot is such a beautifully open canvas to explore। So open in fact the idea of several directors attacking the same show with one cast was intriguing and I wanted to be a part of it. I'm glad I was.
Theatre 'd Art:
When I was approached to help direct Godot I was excited and unsure. Excited as I would have an opportunity to help direct a play that I have always loved and admired. Unsure because I had no idea what I was about to walk into. Walking into a play after two-thirds of the rehearsals have already been completed can be tricky. How were the actors shaping their characters? What would the stage look like? What had the other directors before me done? Of course, all of these questions don't necessarily mean much at all when dealing with a play like Waiting for Godot. This is a play that is about nothing and everything simultaneously and, at least in its world, it doesn't matter what happened before, only the now and the perceived future matters. I wanted to come and see what I could do, what I could bring to this play to help it and feed it and make it grow into the strange brooding animal it ought to be. This is a play about anguish, loss, pain... and silliness and living and going on in spite of the threat of, well, nothing happening. It's about pauses, about the space between the words when our minds take over and our fears can take hold. That was my goal: to see to it that these moments were built and preserved. I don't know how well this was accomplished but I tried anyway and I'm very pleased to have been a part of this process and this show.