Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Samuel Beckett is dead, which is good

On Sunday, Matt and I drove up to Manhattan to see Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Waiting for Godot. We paid a rather obscene amount of money to sit second row house left (I find that theater blocking tends to favor downstage right in many productions, so it was a deliberate choice) and it was worth every penny. I love those two men. I love them. I want to be their friend so badly, but I would never, because I'm not worthy.

I'd also love to be in Godot one day, a fact not lost on my many acting students, male and female, whom I have forced to read Godot with me. Frankly I don't think any of the characters require a male actor, but I especially identify with Didi, who as far as I am concerned, might as well be a woman.

Or maybe I watched too much Hunter growing up.
Of course, Godot's cast is traditionally comprised only of men. Fun fact! Beckett was totally an asshole about this. In 1988, when a Dutch theater company wanted to mount an all-female production, Beckett responded by instituting a ban on all productions of his plays in The Netherlands. Can you fucking imagine. He was especially cranky about women playing Didi, who frequently leaves the stage to urinate, because, as he puts it, "women don't have prostates."

Dear Dead Samuel Beckett: as a woman who has pissed razors every five minutes as a sufferer of countless urinary tract infections (far more common in women than men), as a woman who has seen how childbirth affects continence in so many women, including, for example, my own mother: FUCK. YOU.

If I didn't love the actual play so much, and Beckett weren't dead, I would probably be angrier about this, but as it is, I think the best revenge might be to just ignore the creator's stupidity and take his creation beyond its restricted intention.

I would hop back on the boards for Didi. Also Richard III and Mark Antony, in case anyone is wondering.

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