Press Release: Waiting for Godot Timeless Tragicomedy Starring Frank X and Johnnie Hobbs Jr. Runs January 31-February 18
Quintessence Theatre Group continues its blockbuster 8th season with Samuel Beckett’s existential and absurdist classic, Waiting for Godot. People’s Light Founding Member Ken Marini makes his Quintessence debut as director of this classic work which stars local legends and Barrymore Winners Frank X and Johnnie Hobbs Jr. Waiting for Godot runs January 31-February 18. Opening Night is Saturday February 3, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15-$50. Tickets are available online at www.quintessencetheatre.org or at the Box Office at time of performance. Quintessence performs at The Sedgwick Theater located at 7137 Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy.
In this classic work, two road-weary men arrive at a tree in the middle of nowhere to await the arrival of Godot. The two men cannot agree on when they were to meet, or exactly where, or why, but both know they cannot leave until they meet Godot. As unexpected visitors pass by, the men wonder how long they have been waiting, or whether Godot will ever come. A tragicomedy in two acts, this humorous, disturbing, thrilling, existential and absurdist masterpiece by Samuel Beckett is noted by the National Theatre in England as “the most significant English language play of the 20th century.”
Philadelphia’s master of both comedy and tragedy, and known for his tour-de-force performances in Lantern’s King Lear and Othello, and a Barrymore Award winner for InterAct Theatre’s Lonely Planet, actor Frank X makes his Quintessence debut as Estragon. For the first time ever, he shares the stage with Johnnie Hobbs Jr. as Vladimir, a Mt. Airy resident and winner of the Barrymore Lifetime Achievement Award. From August Wilson to Edward Albee, Mr. Hobbs has illuminated the stage and educated generations of artists as an acting professor at the University of the Arts.
Gregory Isaac, a Quintessence favorite, who most recently ignited audiences with his Henry Higgins in Quintessence’s monster hit My Fair Lady, plays Pozzo. Barrymore nominee J. Hernandez plays Lucky and Lyam David-Kilker plays a boy.
“I can’t wait to see what this cast brings to the table. They are all incredibly talented. I have directed this play before and I feel like with the current state of our world and with our current political climate, the talk of nuclear war, our disconnected society, and the uncertainty we live with, this is the perfect time to revisit this classic, This play is timeless and very timely,” said Marini.
Quintessence Artistic Director Alexander Burns asked Marini to direct this production because when Burns was in high school he interned at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, where Marini was Artistic Director. Burns’ love of theatre and the classics was curated by watching Marini’s award-winning direction.
James Pyne, the recently retired Resident Set Designer and Production Manager at People’s Light and Theatre Company is the Set Designer. Jane Casanave, who began her career as a designer at People’s Light, is the Costume Designer. Hellen Hayes Award winning designer John Burkland is the Lighting Designer. They are joined by J. Alex Coradaro as the fight director. Cortney Mandoske is the Production Stage Manager.
“In 2018, people feel more stuck than ever. Despite technology’s ability to connect individuals more efficiently, humanity’s inability to communicate and find contentment is at an all-time high. Full of low comedy and high philosophy, this seasoned and celebrated group of artists will make you laugh and cry as they take on Beckett’s timeless question of ‘what are you waiting for?’ This will be the first time that Frank X and Johnnie Hobbs Jr. share the stage. That alone promises to be an unforgettable theatrical event,” said Quintessence Artistic Director Burns.
About Quintessence Theatre Group
Quintessence Theatre Group is a professional classic theater dedicated to the performance and adaptation of epic works of literature and drama for the contemporary stage. Its approach attracts both nationally-recognized and local actors who find challenge and inspiration in Quintessence’s thought-provoking, innovative productions. It is building an acting ensemble with a rotating repertory at the historic Sedgwick Theater in the Mt. Airy neighborhood. As Quintessence Theatre Group’s home, the Sedgwick Theater, a 1928 art deco movie palace designed by William Lee, has regained its place as a jewel in Philadelphia’s cultural landscape.