The premise of the next theatrical production of the NIU School of Theatre and Dance is that waiting for something can also be all about facing the unknown.
Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” runs from Wednesday, Oct. 31, through Sunday, Nov. 4, in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre on the NIU campus.
“It’s not a play you can give labels to,” said MFA in acting candidate Dan O’Reilly, who plays Pozzo. “There’s no hero and no epic adventure. The most important thing about ‘Waiting for Godot’ is that you can’t make assumptions about what Samuel Beckett meant. This play is whatever you want it to be.”
Beckett’s play has been called an essential example of what is referred to as, “Theatre of the Absurd.” The plot centers on two men, Vladimir and Estragon, who are waiting endlessly for a person by the name of Godot. Though both men claim Godot is an acquaintance, they admit they wouldn’t recognize this person should he or she arrive.
Director Patricia Skarbinski said “Waiting for Godot” allows the audience members to revel in their own uncertainty about many aspects of life.
“It’s a piece about the original homelessness,” Skarbinski said. “We don’t know why we’re here; we don’t know if we matter; we don’t know if we’re significant. We are desperately waiting for a sign that our lives mean something.”
Hunter McHugh, senior BFA in acting candidate, plays Lucky, one of two clowns who meet the main characters.
“My favorite part of this play is the physical life of my character,” McHugh said. “Sometimes in the middle of rehearsals, I would have to drop to the floor to release the tension gathered in the scenes.”
Though the tension of the play is present, Skarbinski said these deep subjects are explored with lightness and humor. She said she hopes the play makes audience members think.
“More than anything, I want them to go on an emotional journey,” Skarbinski said. “A lot of people have the Godot that they’re waiting for in their lives. We all want things that there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever get. How do you get up the next day with dignity and without giving up?”
“Waiting for Godot” will stage in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre on the NIU DeKalb campus. Weeknight and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. All general admission tickets are $6.
Tickets for “Waiting for Godot” are available online or by contacting the School of Theatre and Dance box office, open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Friday. Call (815) 753-1600 or email [email protected].