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.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-332X
Print ISSN
0192-2882
Pages
pp. 537-557
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-06
Open Access
No
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