Waiting for Godot in New Orleans

Artist : Paul Chan
Location : New Orleans, USA
Year : 2007
Researcher : Jessica Fiala

Four free site-specific outdoor evening performances of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot taking place over two weekends in November 2007 in two New Orleans neighborhoods — the middle of an intersection in the Lower Ninth Ward, and the front yard of an abandoned house in Gentilly. Leading up to the performances, the artists offered a range of free classes and events over the course of 9 months.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans residents became familiar with unfulfilled promises. The project resonated with community members not only in terms of subject matter, but also in the collaborating partners’ commitment to embedding themselves in the community, reaching out for input and insights, and developing a variety of free activities to engage local residents. Beyond the events themselves, the artist sought to provide direct support to the community, establishing a “Shadow Fund” to gather donations and raising nearly $50,000 for local rebuilding efforts.

Artist Paul Chan spearheaded the project, with support from Creative Time. The Classical Theatre of Harlem ran theater workshops and staged the performances of Waiting for Godot.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

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