Our production of “Waiting for Godot” opens up in just a few days. Here’s a peek into the rehearsal room with the actors.
“We always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist?”
Seattle Shakespeare Company’s cast for “Waiting for Godot” does exist. Darragh Kennan will play the role of Estragon (Gogo) and Todd Jefferson Moore will play the role of Vladimir (Didi). Both actors have appeared numerous times at Seattle Shakespeare Company but appeared together in the theatre’s productions of “The Miser” and “Electra.” Kennan most recently appeared as Octavius in “Antony and Cleopatra” and Moore played the Fool in “King Lear” this past spring. Chris Ensweiler joins the cast as Pozzo. Ensweiler most recently appeared with Seattle Shakespeare Company as Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Making his Seattle Shakespeare Company debut in the role of Lucky will be Jim Hamerlinck who played the Monster in Book-It Repertory Theatre’s production of “Frankenstein.”
I think the season coming up has some amazing play titles associated with and some amazing directors associated with each of those shows. And again, it’s also coming in as one of those seasons where the directors are coming at the plays from a passion point of view.
The theme of the season this year is built around the idea of what we’re calling “Lead Us Into Temptation.” So each of the plays, somewhere in them, deal with elements of love, desire, lust, ambition…chasing after that forbidden fruit. And how ideas of jealousy, deception, and corruption can bump up against those notions of craven impulses or secret desires.
The thing that’s going to be kicking off the season is going to be a real note for something here in Seattle. Before we get to our four play themed season, of “Lead Us Into Temptation,” we’re going to kick off a 5th full production in early September of “Waiting for Godot,” Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece of the last century. It’s going to be built around an entire city-wide festival of the works of Samuel Beckett. We are involving over 20 arts and education organizations from the period of late August through early November, all coordinating and producing works by or inspired by Samuel Beckett.
We’ll have our show, “Waiting for Godot” performed in cooperation with ACT Theatre at the Falls Theatre in early September. We’re very excited about the opportunity for us, as theatre artists, and all of Seattle as audience members to jointly explore this great and profoundly important writer’s work.
As an artistic director, what I get the great pleasure of doing, is giving other artists an opportunity to explore their passions. And the directors associated with the plays this year have, each of them, brought a particular excitement and a particular dream passion to each of these shows. Jon Kretzu doing “Twelfth Night” is getting a chance to explore some beautiful opulence and sort of faded glory and degradation all at the same time in his production of “Twelfth Night.”
Desdemona Chiang is an exceptionally talented and exciting director whose work with Azeotrope people may be familar with. She’s also got a great history with Shakespeare, and she is over the moon excited about “Measure for Measure.” She approached me about, when I met with her, because I think her talent is so great, I wanted her to get a chance to explore Shakespeare…the first show on her list was “Measure for Measure.”
Makeala Pollock who is directing “Tartuffe” is developing a passion for the works of Moliere. She recently directed “The Bourgeois Gentlemen” at Cornish College and is getting…is chomping at the bit to get some more of that Moliere wit and social commentary expressed in Seattle.
And the great John Langs, whose work we’ve enjoyed with “King Lear,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” has one of the strongest and most distinctive voices in Seattle theatre directing, and to bring it to bear upon this great play of jealousy and passion and deception is going to be right up his alley. I think it’s going to be flexing all the muscles that he has already finely developed.
There are going to be a lot of great plays that you’re going to want to see and a subscription is one of the best ways to ensure that you see every one of them.
Waiting for Godot – September 3-21, 2014
Twelfth Night – October 21-November 16, 2014
Measure for Measure – January 6-February 1, 2015
Tartuffe – March 17-April 12, 2015
Othello – April 22-May 10, 2015