GCC Presents Waiting for Godot Feb. 27-28 and March 6-7February 20, 2009
Glendale Community College (GCC) will present four performances of Waiting for Godot at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27-28 and March 6-7 in the GCC Performing Arts Center (PAC).
Arguably the most famous and most controversial of a genre of plays called "Theatre of the Absurd," Waiting for Godot is a parable on the human condition in which "the more things change, the more they are the same." Theatre of the Absurd refers to a type of play that became popular during the 1950s and 60s and defines the human condition as basically meaningless. The idea was humanity had to resign itself to recognizing that a fully rational explanation of the universe was beyond its reach, and, therefore, the world must ultimately be seen as absurd.
The plot of Waiting for Godot is simple. Two tramps are sitting under a sickly looking tree, waiting for the arrival of a Monsieur Godot, whose role never is really identified or explained. They quarrel, make up, contemplate suicide, try to sleep, eat a carrot and gnaw on some chicken bones. A master and a slave appear and perform a grotesque scene in the middle of the play. A young boy arrives to say that M. Godot will not come today but will come tomorrow. He does not come the next day and the two tramps resume their vigil by the tree, which between the first and second day has sprouted a few leaves, the only symbol of possible order in a thoroughly alienated world.
The two tramps, in disposition and antics, are reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin and American burlesque comedy teams. The master and slave characters are half vaudeville characters and half marionettes. The purely comic aspects of the play involve classic and traditional routines that are typical of the entire history of farce, from the Romans to the red-nosed clown of the modern circus.
Many pages have been written espousing deep philosophical theories based on the vast symbolism in the play. Complex and ingenious theories have been advanced as interpretations for the characters and their words and actions. For the first-time viewer, however, it might be enough just to experience a classic play from the theater of the absurd.
Tickets are $5 for students with ID, $7 for seniors with appropriate ID and $8 general admission. GCC is located at 59th and Olive Avenues in Glendale. Parking is free. The PAC is in the northeast quadrant of the GCC campus. Enter at the traffic light at Vogel Avenue off 59th Avenue and the PAC will be on your left. Visit www.gccaz.edu/map for a map of the campus.
Chris Ulbrich (left) paying Estragon and Joe Pinkley playing Vladimir in Act II of Waiting for Godot.