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Patron Interaction January 27, 2006

Posted by unamable in Beckettiana, Libraries, Library 2.0, Repatronising.
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Sidney Homan recounting his experiences of presenting Waiting for Godot for an audience of inmates at Florida State Prison:

“Knowing nothing of the stultifying theatre etiquette that often characterises Broadway, the inmates, on every other line it seemed, rose from their seats and shouted out comments or questions to the actors, who were desperately trying to stay in character: “why did you speak that way to him?” “Hey, what the hell do you mean by that remark?” “You two, come down here [downstage]—I’ve got a few things to say to you!”

At first, these interruptions were frustrating; while always aware of the audience on the periphery, the actors were now being asked—forced—to speak directly to them, during the performance! Soon, however, our frustration turned to exhilaration: here was an audience, these men waiting, who demanded to be part of the production, who took what we said so seriously that they could not remain silent. We were actually performing two plays, the one scripted by Beckett and a complementary one, this extension of the text fashioned by our unique audience.”

Courtesy – “Wham Bam Thank You Sam” A website by Penelope Merritt

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