American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
Does it qualify as irony that a play whose central concern is communication has inspired so much consternation over the years? No matter. Considered by many to be one of, if not the, most influential play of the 20th century, Waiting for Godot asks the big questions in ways few other works of art could: how do we get up every morning, fight through every day, and go to sleep every evening never knowing whether our hopes and dreams might be granted? Godot asks — with theatricality, tension, humor, and grace — that we rethink the world and our place within it.
First Performance: Tuesday, June 22 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Friday, June 25 8:00 p.m.
I remember first reading Waiting for Godot at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1964. I read it again that same year. I read it again. I read it again in 1965. I read it again that same year. I read it again, and again. I auditioned for the role of “Pozzo” at the University of Minnesota in 1967. I was called back for the role. I was called back again. I was not cast. I suggested producing Waiting for Godot for the La Crosse Community Theater in 1969 where I was the Managing Director. The Board of Directors looked somewhat askance. The Board of Directors did not approve. I directed Waiting for Godot for the Fairmount Theater of the Deaf in Cleveland, Ohio in 1974. I am now directing Waiting for Godot for American Players Theater in 2010. I have been living with this play for forty-six years.
The atomic bombs were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. I was born in 1944.
I do not remember a time in my life when it was not possible for the world to destroy itself. My wife was born in 1957. She does not remember such a time. My parents were born in 1906. They remember. My wife’s parents were born in 1924. They remember. My brother was born in 1934. He remembers. Samuel Beckett has captured the consciousness of generations.
Whenever I begin work on a play, I look for an inspiration of some kind. I may find it in music or literature or science or even, in this instance, a combination of mathematics and art: a painting by Jacklas Peabody which captures the sun, the moon, and the desperate and desolate landscape of Samuel Beckett’s world. And, as so often happens, I’m sure that Jacklas had no thought whatsoever about this play while he was creating this work. Art has no limitations. Look for his painting in the play and also on page 12 of our program, where you will find it in glorious color!
- Kenneth Albers