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NIU Theatre is ‘Waiting for Godot’

Published: Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

Waiting can be tedious. In the next production of the Northern Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance, waiting also can be all about facing the unknown.

Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” runs Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre on the NIU campus.

“It’s not a play you can give labels to,” student Dan O’Reilly, who plays Pozzo, said in a news release. “There’s no hero and no epic adventure. The most important thing about ‘Waiting for Godot’ is that you can’t make assumptions about what Samuel Beckett meant. This play is whatever you want it to be.”

Beckett’s play has been called an example of “theater of the absurd.” The plot centers on two men, Vladimir and Estragon, who are waiting endlessly for a person by the name of Godot. Though both men claim Godot is an acquaintance, they admit they wouldn’t recognize this person should he or she arrive.

According to director Patricia Skarbinski, “Waiting for Godot” allows the audience to revel in its own uncertainty about many aspects of life.

“It’s a piece about the original homelessness,” Skarbinski said in the release. “We don’t know why we’re here, we don’t know if we matter, we don’t know if we’re significant. We are desperately waiting for a sign that our lives mean something.”

Hunter McHugh plays Lucky, one of two clowns who meet the main characters.

“My favorite part of this play is the physical life of my character,” McHugh said in the release. “Sometimes in the middle of rehearsals, I would have to drop to the floor to release the tension gathered in the scenes.”

Though the tension of the play is present, Skarbinski said deep subjects are explored with lightness and humor. She said she hopes the play makes audience members think.

“More than anything, I want them to go on an emotional journey,” Skarbinski said in the release. “A lot of people have the Godot that they’re waiting for in their lives. We all want things that there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever get. How do you get up the next day with dignity and without giving up?”

Show times for “Waiting for Godot” are 7:30 p.m. weeknights and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $6 and can be purchased at the door, online at www.niu.edu/theatre or by calling the box office at 815-753-1600.

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