Samuel Beckett’s famously spare language and staging in “Waiting for Godot” leaves much to the viewer’s own interpretation. And that’s how J.T. Marlowe, who is guest-directing Sweet Briar Theatre’s production of the play, wants to keep it.
“Waiting for Godot” will open at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, in Murchison Lane Auditorium at Babcock Fine Arts Center. The show follows a pre-show dinner and lecture at 6 p.m. in Johnson Dining Room at Prothro. Additional performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, and at 2:30 p.m. March 3. The Sunday matinee will be sign-interpreted.
Marlowe, who previously directed and taught theater at Sweet Briar, is leading an ensemble cast in the play, which follows Beckett’s own notes from a production he directed in 1975.
“I hope to honor Beckett and the students here, using some of Beckett’s own direction ideas and his revisions to the text,” Marlowe said.
The cast members are Annabel Metson Wallace ’15, Charlotte Gibson Hopkins ’15, Molly Harper ’15, Sarah Muth ’14 and C.J. Campbell ’13, and local actors Omar Ott and Alex Miller.
The first staging of “Waiting for Godot” in 1953 was in French. Reaction to the radically original “tragicomedy in two acts,” as Beckett subtitled it, was slow to take shape. It has to sink in.
The story revolves around Estragon and Vladimir, or Gogo and Didi as they call one another, two friends who are waiting for Godot. They fill the time with conversation, the tone of the dialogue ranging from slapstick comedy to bleak despair as they interact with a confusing world of nonsense and absurdities.
Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students, and free for children younger than 12 and for members of the Sweet Briar community. Area teachers and students will be admitted free on opening night, Feb. 28.