Waiting for Godot in New Orleans

Paul Chan
Collaborated with Classical Theatre of Harlem & Creative Time
Performance
New Orleans, USA

Courtesy Paul Chan and Badlands Unlimited.

 
 

Description

Four free site-specific outdoor evening performances of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for  Godot took place over two weekends in November 2007 in two New Orleans neighbourhoods — the middle of an intersection in the Lower Ninth Ward, and the front yard of an abandoned house in Gentilly. Leading up to the performances, the artists offered a range of free classes and events over the course of 9 months.

Written by Jessica Fiala

 

Excellence

The jury was impressed with the commitment of the artist and organisers to a long-term approach and to a genuine interaction with a traumatised and marginalised community, making use of a form of contemporary theatre that many people find challenging, and mediating it through artists of the highest quality. While the project was clearly ephemeral, they felt that the commitment to quality would have an impact on the community and the identity of the two neighbourhoods involved that could well be permanent. The fact that the artists sought to provide direct support to the community's rebuilding efforts through establishing a “Shadow Fund” to gather nearly $US 50,000 donations, was also highly commended.

(The project as a whole took place over 9 months in 2007, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when New Orleans residents became familiar with unfulfilled promises. There were four free site-specific outdoor evening performances of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot taking place over two weekends in November 2007 in two New Orleans neighbourhoods. Leading up to the performances, the artists offered a range of free classes and events.)

 

Further reading