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Bethel College to present "Waiting for Godot"

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Bethel College theater students will present the tragicomic existentialist play "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m., Nov. 19, 20 and 21 in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center on the North Newton campus. Tickets are $8. All seating is general admission. For tickets, call or stop by Thresher Bookstore in the Schultz Student Center on the Bethel campus, (316) 284-5281.

Director is Brent Noel, assistant professor of communication arts. Assisting Noel is Bethany Joy Amstutz, senior from Hillsboro.

Originally written in French in 1948, "Waiting for Godot" is the story of two men who meet at a deserted stretch of road to wait for the appearance of Godot. Laughter ensues as the two try to find ways of passing the time. This simple story, seemingly about nothing, is one of the most influential plays of the 20th century.

"Without ‘Waiting for Godot,’ we wouldn’t have such cultural icons as ‘Seinfeld’ or ‘Waiting for Guffman’," said Noel. "Beckett shows us the humor and absurdity of people doing their best just trying to get through the day."

However, the play can also be seen as a significant, intellectual exercise. Trying to figure out the meaning of the play has become something of a theatrical Rorschach test. It allows spectators the freedom to make their own choices about meaning. What the play means is largely determined by what it means to the viewer.

"That much freedom takes a special kind of courage from the audience," said Noel.

The cast includes J.J. Birky, senior from Colorado Springs, Colo., as Estrogon; Jared Hawkley, senior from Homewood, Ill., as Vladimir; Henry Dick, senior from Normal, Ill., as Pozzo; Caitlin Welch, sophomore from Lawrence, as Lucky; and Ethan Fitch, Inman, as Boy.

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