4 Students from GU's ZagLab pose in costume as characters from Waiting for Godot


by Nick Payne

Tick, Tick, Boom!
by Jonathan Larson

February 2018
Soldier Project
by Kathleen Jeffs
and Charles Pepiton

March 2018
The Hamlet Machine
by Heiner Muller

See the full Theater and Dance schedule here

Words by Megan Carroll (’18)

Samuel Beckett’s iconic tragicomedy “Waiting for Godot” has acted as a vehicle for performing artists to comment on societal plights for more than 50 years. The play’s principal characters, Vladimir and Estragon, idly wait in a wasteland for a man named Godot, whom they believe will save them.

A recent Gonzaga production of the play directed by Charlie Pepiton, assistant professor of theatre and dance, underscored humans’ lack of response to environmental degradation. Pepiton, assistant professor of theatre and dance Courtney Smith, two Gonzaga alumni and three students worked closely with Jim Simon, Gonzaga’s director of sustainability, to represent the concerns and implications associated with climate change.

“Essentially, the message of our production is that we have created the problem of climate change, and it’s our responsibility to make necessary changes,” Pepiton said. “The characters represent all of us waiting for someone else to act.”

The production was the inaugural project from ZagLab, an experimental joint initiative of Gonzaga’s art and theatre and dance departments. ZagLab pursues original, interdisciplinary artistic collaborations, encourages artistic risk-taking, and fosters creative inquiry among students, faculty and guest artists. Modeled after New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing and the University of Idaho’s Vandal Theatre Lab, it aims to create new work that responds to pertinent regional and global issues while challenging accepted borders between artistic disciplines.

The play, a partnership with local artists, environmental groups and Terrain, was performed at the Washington Cracker Building artspace in June and September. Performances featured preshow, intermission and post-show sustainability fairs, which connected environmental action groups, including Spokane Riverkeeper, Environmental Action Team and the City of Spokane’s environment and sustainability office – with the audience.

Actors performed on an outdoor set whose ceramic art installation depicted a melting glacial field. The installation, which naturally degraded over time, was a collaboration between artist J.J. McCracken, co-director of Red Dirt Studio in Washington, D.C., and Mat Rude, Gonzaga assistant professor of ceramics and sculpture.

TICKETS at gonzaga.edu/theatreanddance


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