If you have tried reading the play, ‘Waiting for Godot’ by Samuel Beckett, you would know how fast you can transfer from present consciousness into sleep mode. ‘En Attendant Godot’ is the original title for ‘Waiting for Godot’. It made a sensation among critics, who tried to explain the drama by identifying who was Mr. Godot, despite Samuel Beckett’s silence. The play was adapted by a Korean producer at Doongsoon Stag and renamed, ‘Godot in Sarajevo’.
Critic’s Interview with the producer
Critic: How can you watch this? It seems like pushing a replay button repeatedly during the whole play? Isn’t it boring?
Producer: Some would yawn before they see the exact meaning of the the play “Godot in Sarajevo”.
Critic: Sarajevo? Why? What makes this play any different? Samuel Beckett’s style, no matter how much you admire his artistic ability or how much the actors make the play fun, it will not be changed. Still, boring.
Producer: If you are one of the people, who ignores the core meaning, and only follows the outer trappings of laughter, and forgets about the deeper meanings of the play, you will perhaps be bored. However, if you are not, don’t be afraid. It’s a play. Plays are for fun. However, the wise spender will find not only the funny things, but also the inner meaning of the play.
The plot of the story is about two men who are waiting for Mr. Godot. The time and place are not known, just that there is a war going on. The war keeps going on and on, with no reason, and no agenda. It is war itself. Like Sif, a character from the play says, “You should feel thankful, unlike the others who have already been buried under the ground.”
In the play, there are two actors, Gogo and Didi, the same characters’ names as in ‘Waiting for Godot’, who continue waiting and rehearsing. Preparing for the inner-play, the play within a play. The conflicts between Gogo and Didi appear up-front. During a crisis people become weak, mostly it is a visible weakness, but there are weaknesses that are harsher, invisible.
“It hurts deep at first, but at last, it doesn’t hurt me.”
“There is nothing in the shoes and hat.”
“Everybody in the world is such a jerk, say again? The Jerk.”
Marima got pregnant, and comes to see the play, Waiting for Godot, but finds Gogo, her husband. Gogo shouts at her with his skeptical attitude, yells his sadness and hurts out at her and her baby; which is not his.
“This baby is not a baby of the upper hill. Not a baby of our village. Not of Gogo. But it is the son of a human being, that’s all. ”
Sif in the inner play says, “Mr. Godot will not come here today. He will not come. But he could come tomorrow.“ Then two smiles; such a scene of black comedy like a movie from Tim Burton, or like the clown in the film, Lime light of Charlie Chaplin.
As all theater based on the absurd do, the audience finds it hard to stand up right after the story ends. Because the people are wandering about what they just saw, they are not willing to hug the questions that remain in their heads like the question ‘So what? How tangled the plot was? If this play is that hard, why not just make it simpler? Gogo and Didi are waiting for Mr. Godot. Then who is Mr. Godot? Looking back on what we do in our lives, we will find the answer to this key point.
Interview with a director
Theoretically, anything and everything can be Mr. Godot; hope, dreams, understanding, peace, or love. The Drama is performed on the Dongsoong Stage. This interview discusses the boiling enthusiasm of the producer and this play, and communicating with viewers.
CAH: Do you have a reason for picking the theme from Waiting for Godot? It is quite hard to understand.
Producer: For a producer, it is hard work to put a play on the stage such as Waiting for Godot. However, was it that hard? (Laugh) At first, I wondered if the audiences would find the meaning? Would they understand? One day, I thought this is silly. It is a comedy, no matter what others call it such as Theater of the Absurd or feel difficulty in understanding the deeper meanings.
CAH: Then what does Mr. Godot mean in this play; Mr. Godot in Sarajevo?
Producer: Godot can be interpreted into anything. As you can read in the original drama, Godot is not a fixed concept. People have different wishes or various types of values they are waiting for. It can be hope, dreams, understanding and peace, or love. However, there is a clearer view than this in our play, ‘Godot in Sarajevo’, because of its background wartime. So, if I should have to choose one, I would say hope. Hope will not be put off despite of the sounds of gunshot fire, outside the theater.
CAH: Didi said that Godot is the baby of Marima. What was your intention for that sentence?
Producer: Yes. That’s right. Didi says that the baby is Mr. Godot. And I consider Mr. Godot in this play as hope. The baby between Gogo and Marima has already died, and she is pregnant again with clearly another man’s baby. For Didi, the baby can be hope. He says a baby should be hope.
CAH: The baby should be hope. Is it connected with the Marima’s lines?
Producer: That’s correct. Marima says, “This baby is not of another man and not of our village, but of human beings.” Baby of human beings; that answers the whole.
CAH: Then what is your hope reflecting on your situation dealing with this drama, the play?
Producer: My hope came true. As you know, the theater is not in DeaHakRo. I wished to get out of that area filled with commercial plays without spirit. I think the play should find the audience. So I dreamed of a stage at Miari, though I was scared of failure. Now, I feel good about making something out of this place. My goal now is to establish more small theaters, not on popular crowd streets, but in dark and unknown places.
CAH: Tell us about DONGSOONG stage? What is the spirit of the play of DONGSOONG?
Producer: One is its audiences. Plays exist by exchanging communication with the audiences. So, you try to hold it as the first value. If we succeed in sending a message to viewers by watching our performances, it is enough to do so, no matter how much we prepared.
CAH: The other side is of course playing. Do you know what the word ‘play’ means? Making fun.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >
Producer: Yes, making fun. A play is not serious, that means enjoy the drama we put on the stage. But that does not mean that the play can be made with a one-sided conversation. That is why we need the audience. We practiced a lot, so that viewers have fun, by being careful not to extract the core meaning just for fun.