Though the plot may seem simple enough, ‘Godot’ defies an easy analysis, as the characters attempt to keep themselves occupied despite boredom and depression settling in, all while exhibiting humorous gestures and characteristics.
“It’s a show about nothing, almost like ‘Seinfeld,’” said veteran director Josh Morriston, whose target audience includes all ages. “Kids will love the slapstick, physical humor, which is similar to the Three Stooges,” said Morriston. “Parents will like it because of the subtle humor, and everyone will come away with their own meaning of it. It’s my favorite play; I love the absurdity of it,” said Morriston.
This will be Morriston’s second time bringing ‘Godot’ to the stage, the first being in 2006 with an all-female cast at CSU Stanislaus, which earned him a series of awards and nominations. Now that time has passed, Morriston has altered his vision, prompting him to give ‘Godot’ another go-around.
“The reason I wanted to do this now is because I wanted to see the play in the men’s perspective,” said Morriston. “There is something ambiguous between each line. The lines never change, but the tone can create a new meaning with the exact same dialogue. I’m a different person than I was back then, and I wanted a new perspective in the play. I always knew I was going to do this show more than once.”
The lines are delivered with plenty of potency by veteran actors Colton Dennis and Kenny Roderick, who portray Vladimir and Estragon, respectively.
“Whatever (Vladimir) is, I’m the opposite,” said Roderick of his character, Estragon. “In the beginning, we’ve talked about (Vladimir) as the mind and (Estragon) as the body.”
Roderick’s appeal as Estragon takes comedic form in his hapless antics, including a few scenes in which he is unable to remove a tight shoe and his inability to remember the faintest occurrences. Roderick’s character is also concerned with mundane things, such as his physical aches and need for supplement, but does not delve into philosophical matters, such as his counterpart, Vladimir.
“I care about getting out of this purgatory,” said Roderick, “But, I don’t comprehend it. My character has the attention span of a termite.”
Dennis said portraying Vladimir was nothing short of similar to many of life’s universal situations, and illustrates how important temporality is in affecting the characters’ lives.
“I think Vladimir is a guy trying to pass the time the best way he can without getting bogged down by depression,” said Dennis. “That is something people have been trying to figure out for the last five to six decades. There is no definitive answer. Sometimes, you wish time would go faster, and then sometimes, you wish time would just slow down. We’ve all been there.”
Dennis, who has been the artistic director and co-founder of PRT for the last 10 years, said this will be his last big involvement with PRT. Dennis said he will attempt to keep moving forward, and plans to move out of Patterson in the very near future.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done (at Patterson Repertory Theatre), but it’s time to let it go and watch it become something better,” said Dennis, who noted many of the amiable directors to have crossed Patterson’s stage recently, including Morriston. “I’m leaving (PRT) in good hands,” he said with a smile.
As for the production, Dennis said he was happy to leave Patterson Repertory Theatre on a good note, nicknaming ‘Godot’ as his personal swan song.
Whether you prefer comedy or tragedy, ‘Godot’ will liven up the room, said Dennis, who hopes that the performance will leave audience members amused by the intricate language and lively comedic happenings of Vladimir and Estragon.
“It’s a great play,” said Dennis.
Contact the Patterson Irrigator at 892-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.