Back Alley Productions will bring the tragicomedy to life as it performs live “Waiting for Godot” to an all-online audience through live-streaming.
The Back Alley theatre, which is located in LaFayette, will remain closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the audience can watch the show from the comfort of their homes using their phones, computers, tablets, and smart TVs.
Taken from the original French-language play, En attendant Godot, meaning “Waiting for Godot,” the story follows the ridiculous antics of two characters, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), who engage in a variety of discussions to stave off boredom and isolation while awaiting Godot, who seems to be taking forever to arrive.
“It is a ridiculously fun play that explores many themes and for years people have always wanted to know what our characters are waiting for, who is Godot?” says director Kaylee Smith. “All we know are our two friends are awaiting an event that never occurs in the play, much like we have felt this year, during lockdowns; social distancing; to wearing a mask or not to wear a mask, to depend on each other in a small bubble of ‘quaran-teams’ trying to figure out how do we adjust to this new world — absurdity fit right. Although the author never dreamed of the year 2020, his themes, the dialogue feels familiar and the persistent desire to find an end is something we can all relate to.”
With only a tree and themselves to keep company, two women who are dear friends wait and wait for the elusive and mysterious “Godot.” In the span of their waiting they lose track of time, they fall asleep, they are interrupted by strangers who aren’t particularly welcomed, they sing, they talk incessantly in their boredom about all manner of things, and wait even longer for the unpredictable Godot.
“Theater people, alongside everyone, are going through something unknown to us. We are closed off, most of us operating in the virtual world more than we ever thought we would. It’s been hard to accept, to understand, and to get our minds around. When we do venture out of our safe bubble, we are faced with plexiglass barriers, signs for mask-wearing, disinfectants, out-of-stock household items, and statistics that overwhelm and confuse all, most all the while we are waiting on a vaccine. This performance pokes fun at it, and just what we need after our spooky Halloween show of ‘Night of the Living Dead.’ You will laugh and relate.
“My favorite versions of this show always lean into the fact that these two are old friends” Smith said. “Normally depicted as two older men with the sense of waiting at the end of life for the literal end of life, we went with two of our veteran actors who are young but have a lasting long-lived friendship. I’ve never experienced the slowness of the clock quite like this past year, and we have to depend on each other during COVID much like the two older men do in the traditional performances of this play. Madison Smith (Vladimir) and Jessica Parker (Estragon) have embodied what it means to have a quarantine buddy. During the phases, we have all gone through, and the loneliness many have experienced, having a quarantine buddy has become a necessity. At this time in our lives, the whole world is waiting for something. We don’t know who our Godot is either exactly, but there’s joy in this play, as there is in life, that even though we don’t know how long we have to wait, we are not alone in the waiting.”
The production is performed by Madison Smith, Jessica Parker, Gavin Russell, and William Smith.
Back Alley Productions has been taking extra safety measures that align with the CDC guidelines, with added quarantining for performances.
“We appreciate any donations, we’ve reduced ticket prices, and do not limit the number of viewers to one ticket price, so any extra help you can give is much appreciated,” Back Alley said. “We also will be on hand for any tech help that might be needed to purchase and set up your live-streaming event. Trust us, we can get you through it”
Visit https://www.BAPshows.com for more information on this performance as well as current programs.