Waiting for Godot in New Orleans: Modernist autonomy and transnational performance in Paul Chan's Beckett

Alys Moody*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 2007, Paul Chan mounted a project, Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, that took as its centerpiece the performance of Samuel Beckett's modernist play Waiting for Godot in the devastated streets of post-Katrina New Orleans. This essay argues that this transnational, community-based performance of a quintessentially modernist play offers a way of reconceptualizing transnational modernism in light of the dynamics of performance, and intercultural and community-based theatre practices in light of the pressures of modernist autonomy. Read in this light, Chan's project emerges as a provocative attempt to redeploy the autonomous, decontextualizing impulses of Beckett's play, putting them to work as the basis for new community formations and forms of social and political engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-557
Number of pages21
JournalTheatre Journal
Volume65
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

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