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Visions & Voices: Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot   Tags: irish_literature, modernism, samuel_beckett, theater, visions_voices  

Research Guide for the April 6, 2012 Visions & Voices Event
Last Updated: Aug 30, 2012 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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Event Details

This guide is a compliment to the following Visions & Voices event:

When: Friday, April 6, 2012 : 6:30pm - 11:30pm

Where: Mark Taper Forum
Los Angeles, CA

Who: Open to current USC Students only.
Admission is free. Reservations required.
See Visions & Voices website for details


Event Description

"Recognized as the most significant English language play of the 20th century, this self-described “tragicomedy in two acts” by the Nobel Prize winner Samuel Beckett tells the story of two men waiting on a country road: Waiting for Godot. And what a wait it is!"

"Together for the first time, Barry McGovern and Alan Mandell—two of the most distinguished interpreters of Beckett’s work—delightfully debate the meaning of life and the absurdities of human behavior in this engagingly funny, relevant and illuminating new production." Academy Award nominee James Cromwell (Babe, L.A. Confidential, The Artist), Hugo Armstrong and LJ Benet round out the cast. Michael Arabian directs.
Waiting for Godot is playing at the Mark Taper Forum, in Downtown Los Angeles, March 14 - April 22, 2012.

-from the Vision & Voices website and the play's website

Reviews of Waiting for Godot @ the Taper Forum:

About the Author and the Play

Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906–1989) was born in Dublin, Ireland on April 13, 1906. In 1923 he entered Trinity College in Dublin to study French and Italian. After receiving his degree in 1927, he was awarded a 2-year post as lecteur (assistant) in English at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. It was in Paris that Beckett met fellow Irish ex-patriate and modernist author, James Joyce, who would greatly influence his writing style. Beckett published novels, short stories, poetry and plays. It was through his plays that he reached a wider audience and received more acclaim. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969. Beckett died in Paris in 1989.

- Encyclopedia of World Biography

Waiting for Godot was written in 1949 and first performed in Paris in January 1953. During the initial performances, many spectators were utterly confused and some left before the performance ended. Those who stayed had difficulty understanding what this new type of theater was about. The set was just a mound of dirt and a bare tree, there was no plot, no action and no climax, just two men talking and waiting. This complete upheaval of traditional theater techniques and expectations announced a major change in modern drama. Samuel Beckett was writing at the same time as a number of other dramatists (including, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, and Jacques Audiberti), all independently transforming the shape of theatre, writing plays that would later be classified under the rubric of the theater of the absurd, the new theater or the anti-theater. All of these new playwrights were expressing the absurdity and the hopelessness of the human condition and they were to have a lasting effect on the direction and shape of drama in the latter half of the twentieth century.

- Reference Guide to World Literature


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    "Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It's abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we'll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more." - Pozzo (Act II, Waiting for Godot)

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