In February 2017, Tympanic Theatre Company will present WAITING FOR GODOT by Samuel Beckett. Our production, directed by Aaron Mays, will feature an all-Latino cast - exploring the similarities between the titular, oft-mentioned but never-seen “Godot” and the Latinx immigrant experience in the pursuit of the “American Dream”.
WAITING FOR GODOT, which first premiered in 1953, marked Beckett’s association with the Theatre of the Absurd movement. More than sixty years later, the play’s central existential crises are still incredibly resonant. As a company that bills itself as “the best kind of weird”, this play could not be a more perfect or timely fit for us. The story is notably open to a variety of philosophical, political and ethical interpretations, and the themes that emerge throughout all of these interpretations are that of choice, consciousness and suffering. The humanity and universality of these ideas led us to our decision to focus the play through the lens of the Latinx immigrant experience - to remove the barriers of “traditional” casting and amplify the voices of a marginalized community through this classic piece of dramatic literature.
We aim to activate a deeper conversation about the oppression and the racial and socioeconomic inequities faced this particular diaspora. By thrusting the characters and the setting of the play into our current political moment - just south of the US-Mexico border in the very year that our President-elect is threatening to “build a wall” - we strive to honor both the playwright’s original intent and our own commitment to diversifying the stories on Chicago’s stage.
The events of the past year, and particularly in the past few weeks, have unleashed a new torrent of racist, misogynist, homophobic and xenophobic atrocities across the country. We recognize our responsibility as artists to act against this injustice - using our art to create safe spaces and engage in actionable, community-based solutions.
Funded by Chicago, IL (December 2016)