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Waiting for Godot, Beckett's first play, was written originally in French in 1948 (Beckett subsequently translated the play into English himself). It premiered at a tiny theater in Paris in 1953. This play began Beckett's association with the Theatre of the Absurd, which influenced later playwrights like Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard.
The most famous of Beckett's subsequent plays include Endgame (1958) and Krapp's Last Tape (1959). He also wrote several even more experimental plays, like Breath (1969), a thirty-second play. Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1969 and died in 1989 in Paris.

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Waiting for Godot

* GODOT.06: Doing Beckett => main stage Theatre UAF Spring 2006 *

A Reader's Guide to Samuel Beckett
Book by Hugh Kenner; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1973 * 1. Waiting for Godot : [ questia ]

The Critical Response to Samuel Beckett by Cathleen Culotta Andonian; Greenwood Press, 1998

Beckett's Dying Words: The Clarendon Lectures, 1990 by Christopher Ricks; Oxford University Press, 1995

* Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot by Harold Bloom; Chelsea House, 1987 - Modern Critical Interpretations - Waiting for Godot - Contents - Editor's Note - Introduction - Bailing out the Silence - The Search for the Self - Waiting - Waiting for Godot - The Waiting Since - The Language of Myth - Beckett and the Problem of Modern Culture - Beckett's Modernity and Medieval Affinities - Chronology

Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo: Theological Reflections on Nihilism, Tragedy, and Apocalypse Westview Press, 1998

The Death of God and the Meaning of Life by Julian Young; Routledge, 2003

Beckett at 80/Beckett in Context by Enoch Brater; Oxford University Press, 1986

Samuel Beckett by John Pilling; Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976

Samuel Beckett and the End of Modernity by Richard Begam; Stanford University Press, 1996

All That Fall by Samuel Beckett; Grove Press, 1957

Happy Days: A Play in Two Acts by Samuel Beckett; Grove Press, 1961

Frescoes of the Skull: The Later Prose and Drama of Samuel Beckett by James Knowlson, John Pilling; John Calder, 1979

The Long Sonata of the Dead: A Study of Samuel Beckett by Michael Robinson; Grove Press, 1969

Samuel Beckett: The Language of Self by Frederick J. Hoffman; Southern Illinois University Press, 1962

Samuel Beckett, a Critical Study by Hugh Kenner; Grove Press, 1961

Early Beckett: Art and Allusion in More Pricks Than Kicks and Murphy by Anthony Farrow; Whitston Publishing Company, 1991

Re--Joyce'n Beckett by Phyllis Carey, Ed Jewinski; Fordham University Press, 1992

Images of Beckett by John Haynes, James Knowlson; Cambridge University Press, 2003

Proust, Beckett and Narration by James H. Reid; Cambridge University Press, 2003

Murphy by Samuel Beckett; Grove Press, 1957

Watt by Samuel Beckett; Grove Press, 1959

Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett; Grove Press, 1956

The Drama in the Text: Beckett's Late Fiction by Enoch Brater; Oxford University Press, 1994

Theatre on Trial: Samuel Beckett's Later Drama by Anna Mcmullan; Routledge, 1993

Beckett ***

Beckett in Directing Class script breakdown

Godot biblio notes in Directing directory

Waiting for Godot sum * Reality, memory, and time: A character based study of "Waiting for Godot" (idea)

Waiting UAF

After Beckett: Pinter: Homecoming

Spring 2007: Mamet: Oleanna


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By Samuel Beckett

For Vaclav Havel

Written in French in 1982. First performed at the Avignon Festival in 1982. First published in English by Faber and Faber, London, in 1984.

Director (D).
His female assistant (A).
Protagonist (P).
Luke, in charge of the lighting, offstage (L).

Rehearsal. Final touches to the last scene. Bare stage. A and L have just set the lighting. D has just arrived.
D in an armchair downstairs audience left. Fur coat. Fur toque
to match. Age and physique unimportant.
A standing beside him. White overall. Bare head. Pencil on ear.
Age and physique unimportant.

P midstage standing on a black block 18 inches high. Black
wide-brimmed hat. Black dressing-gown to ankles. Barefoot.
Head bowed. Hands in pockets. Age and physique unimportant.

D and A contemplate P. Long pause.
A: [Finally.] Like the look of him?
D: So so. [Pause.] Why the plinth?
A: To let the stalls see the feet.
D: Why the hat?
A: To help hide the face.
D: Why the gown?
A: To have him all black.
D: What has he on underneath? [A moves towards P.] Say it.
[A halts. ]
A: His night attire.
D: Colour?
A: Ash.
[D takes out a cigar.]
D: Light. [A returns, lights the cigar, stands still. D smokes.] How's the skull?
A: You’ve seen it.
D : I forget. [A moves towards P.] Say it.
[A halts.]
A: Moulting. A few tufts.
D: Colour?
A: Ash.
D: Why hands in pockets?
A: To help have him all black.
D: They mustn't.
A: I make a note. [She takes out a pad, takes pencil, notes.]
Hands exposed.
[She puts back pad and pencil.]
D: How are they? [A at a loss. Irritably.] The hands, how are the hands?
A: You've seen them.
D: I forget.
A: Crippled. Fibrous degeneration.
D: Clawlike?
A: lf you like.
D: Two claws?
A: Unless he clench his fists.
D: He mustn't.
A: I make a note. [She takes out pad, takes pencil, notes.]
Hands limp.
[She puts back pad and pencil.]
D: Light. [A returns, relights the cigar, stands still. D smokes.]
Good. Now let's have a look. [A at a loss. Irritably.] Get going. Lose that gown. [He consults
his Chronometer
Step on it, I have a caucus.
[A goes to P, takes off the gown. P submits, inert. A steps back, the gown over her arm.
P in old grey pyjamas, head bowed, fists clenched. Pause.]
A: Like him better without? [Pause.] He’s shivering.
D: Not all that. Hat.
[A advances, takes off hat, steps back, hat in hand. Pause.]
A: Like that cranium?
D: Needs whitening.
A: I make a note. [She takes out pad, takes pencil, notes.]
Whiten cranium.
[She puts back pad and pencil.]
D: The hands. [A at a loss. Irritably. ] The fists. Get going. [A advances, unclenches fists, steps
] And whiten.
A: I make a note. [She takes out pad, takes pencil, notes.]
Whiten hands.
[She puts back pad and pencil. They contemplate P.]
D: [Finally. ] Something wrong. [Distraught. ] What is it?
A: [Timidly.] What if we were . . . were to . . . join them?
D: No harm trying. [A advances, joins the hands, steps back.] Higher. [A advances, raises waist
high the joined hands, steps back.
] A touch more. [A advances, raises breasthigh the
joined hands
.] Stop! [A steps back. ] Better. It's coming. Light.
[A returns, relights cigar, stands still. D smokes.]
A: He's shivering.
D: Bless his heart.
A. [Timidly.] What about a little . . . a little . . . gag?
D: For God's sake! This craze for explicitation! Every i dotted to death! Little gag! For God's sake!
A: Sure he won't utter?
D: Not a squeak. [He consults his chronometer.] Just time. I’ll go and see how it looks from the
[Exit D, not to appear again. A subsides in the armchair, springs to her feet no sooner
seated, takes out a rag, wipes vigorously back and seat of chair, discards rag, sits again.
D: [Off, plaintive.] I can't see the toes. [Irritably.] I'm sitting in the front row of the stalls and can't
see the toes.
A: [Rising.] I make a note. [She takes out a pad, takes pencil, notes.] Raise pedestal.
D: There's a trace of face.
A: I make a note.
[She takes out pad, takes pencil, makes to note.]
D: Down the head. [A at a loss. Irritably.] Get going. Down his head. [A puts back pad and
pencil, goes to
P, bows his head further, steps back.] A shade more. [A advances, bows
the head further
.] Stop! [A steps back.] Fine. lt's coming. [Pause.] Could do with more nudity.
A: I make a note.
[She takes out pad, makes to take her pencil.]
D: Get going! Get going! [A puts back the pad, goes to P, stands irresolute.] Bare the neck. [A
undoes top buttons, parts the flaps, steps back. ] The legs. The shins. [A advances, rolls up to
below knee one trouser-leg, steps back.
] The other. [Same for other leg, steps back.] Higher.
The knees. [A advances, rolls up to above knees both trouser legs, steps back.] And whiten.
A: I make a note.
[She takes out pad, takes pencil, notes.] Whiten all flesh.
D: It's coming. Is Luke around?
A: [Calling.] Luke! [Pause. Louder.] Luke!
L: [Off, distant.] I hear you. [Pause. Nearer. ] What's the
trouble now?
A: Luke's around.
D: Blackout stage.
L: What?
[A transmits in technical terms. Fade-out of general light. Light on P alone. A in shadow.]
D: Just the head.
L: What?
[A transmits in technical terms. Fade-out of light on P's body. Light on head alone. Long
D: Lovely.
A: [Timidly.] What if he were to . . . were to . . . raise his head . . . an instant . . . show his face . . .
just an instant.
D: For God's sake! What next? Raise his head? Where do you think we are? In Patagonia? Raise his
head? For God's sake! [Pause.] Good. There's our catastrophe. In the bag. Once more and
I'm off.
A: [To L.] Once more and he's off.
[Fade-up of light on P's body. Pause. Fade-up of general light. ]
D: Stop! [Pause.] Now . . . let ’em have it. [Fade-out of general light. Pause. Fade-out of light
on body. Light on head alone. Long Pause
.] Terrific! He’ll have them on their feet. I can hear
it from here.
[Pause. Distant storm of applause. P raises his head, fixes the audience. The applause falters, dies.
Long pause.
Fade-out of light on face.


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