Thank you very much, Robyn! Excerpt:
While Beckett was notorious for dismissing over-analysis of his work, he is said to have considered "Waiting for Godot" a tragicomedy (that is, adding comedy to an otherwise tragic tale to lighten the overall mood). Others went further, however, saying it introduced a new style of storytelling to the stage, labeled Theatre of the Absurd.
Whatever one wants to call it, the Sam Bass production is as honest an interpretation as can be expected from a story that could or could not have meaning, with a cast that might or might not represent characters of biblical proportions.
The ability of Benge and Kanne to so effectively portray the sadness and humor of their characters reigns supreme above finding meaning in every word and action. After awhile, the arrival of Godot as central to the plot is no longer anticipated, particularly when it becomes apparent that there really is no plot.
Enter Prior's creative direction, and the little stage with only two benches, a tree and nary a plot to go on make for an interesting look at, well, nothing.
Prior said she had an idea that the tree was as central to the story as the characters themselves, and thus deserving of equal representation by an actor. That honor went to Ashlyn Nichols.
The tree has no lines, but instructions in the script call for adding leaves to the branches in the second act. With that allowance (Beckett was equally notorious for providing detailed character and set instructions, intended for strict adherence by future productions), Prior calls on Nichols' ballet skills to bring the tree to life.
"I'm sure you've heard the saying, 'If these walls could talk...' Well, the tree can't talk, but she is an assistant storyteller, nonetheless," Prior said.
Prior admits there is a quirky element to her interpretation. However, for audiences seeing the play for the first time, Prior's take on it might seem a natural portrayal of the quirkiness that defines "Waiting for Godot."
Robyn has praise for all the actors.