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No Refund Theatre Presents 'Waiting for Godot'

by on November 10, 2016 12:15 PM

It's a show about nothing that's also kind of about everything. Confused? That's the point. And No Refund Theatre knew exactly what it was getting itself into when it added "Waiting for Godot" to its fall 2016 lineup.

The Samuel Beckett play is about the misadventures of two bumble-headed best friends Didi (Max Levine) and Gogo (Sebastian Pellegrini).  The pair find themselves stuck with the task of waiting for an unspecified individual named Godot. Neither one of the two knows exactly when or where they’re supposed to meet this man; they only know that they must wait by a tree for him to show up, and so they do… for the entirety of the play.

Along the way they meet a slightly eccentric traveling man and his slave, as well as two of Godot’s employees, and these characters only add an even more peculiar air to the whole show. It’s a quirky production with a lot of meaning masked by quick-witted humor and silly shenanigans.

“The show makes no sense, so you can take your own meaning out of it. It’s a show you can see over and over again, and when you’re at different points in your life, it can mean different things. When I first saw it in high school, it meant something different to me than it does now,” co-director Julie Whelan said.

Whelan co-directed “Waiting for Godot” with Sarah Chairnoff. Co-directing such a complex show might seem like a real challenge at first, considering there’s no one concrete interpretation of the production. However, the two got along swimmingly and were able to pull the whole thing together really well. Their own unique directorial skills complemented each other and helped them to direct more efficiently.

“We’re like two halves of a whole now,” Chairnoff joked.

Whelan said one of the biggest challenges of the play was that at first the actors had trouble with memorization. “[The script] is non-sequiter, so it was pretty hard for them to get at first. But in the end they got it…we have seasoned actors, so they’re awesome and it made it easier.”

The pair would occasionally meet in Whelan’s apartment to compare notes about where they wanted the actors to be and how they wanted each scence to pan out. Clearly a lot of effort was put in to make this whole thing come together, but it ultimately all paid off in the end.

“Waiting for Godot” will be performed this Thursday-Saturday at 9 p.m in the HUB-Robeson Center's Flex Theatre. Admission is free.



Emma Dieter is a writer for Onward State.
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