NOTHING TO BE DONE! Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago and Excaliber Productions, Ltd. in St. Louis Founder, Artistic Director, Producer and Principal Actor Darryl Maximilian Robinson considers Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot one of the finest pieces of drama written for the stage. He also considers it one of the most difficult stage plays to act in or to direct. It is also, however, an economically easy play to promote and produce due to its long and illustrious history as a groundbreaking work in The Theatre of the Absurd and a classic piece of World Literature. It therefore, due to its small cast and managable technical requirements, and not entirely defined characters ( the characters and direction of Godot are truly what the performers and director choose to make them! ), became a piece members of the multiracial chamber theatre in both Chicago and St. Louis would embrace and perform with passion, commitment and skill. Mr. Robinson first mounted and played Vladimir in Godot in the Fall of 1992 at the historic Second Presbyterian Church in The Central West End of St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to Mr. Robinson as Vladimir, this Excaliber Productions, Ltd. revival featured Michael Alt as Estragon, Carey S. Means as Pozzo, Patrick B. Hensler as Lucky and Philip Alexis Watt as The Boy. J. L. Watt served as Production Stage Manager, Lighting Designer and Sound Technician and Visual Artist Todd Micheal Fichter created the Scenic Road Painting.
In the Spring of 1997, Mr. Robinson returned to the Beckett Piece again! On this occasion Mr. Robinson directed, designed and played the role of Vladimir opposite Mark Poremba as Estragon, Kim Crawford as Pozzo and Chicago Theatre newcommer Shawn Lee Martin as Lucky and The Boy. The Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago revival production was co-designed and co-produced by ESC dramaturg and noted Chicago playwright Jeff Helgeson in the intimate confines of The Heartland Cafe Studio Theatre of the Rogers Park neighborhood of The Windy City. The 1997 ESC revival received several fine notices, and early in the folowing year, on Feb. 14, 1998., broadcast live locally with Theatre Critic and Host Nathaniel Mclin on-the-air at 89. 3 FM., Darryl Maxmilian Robinson was named winner of a 1998 WKKC Radio Critic's Corner Fine Arts Award for Outstanding Director of A Play for the ESC's 1997 staging of Godot, and Shawn Lee Martin was named winner of a 1998 WKKC Radio Critic's Corner Fine Arts Award for Outstanding Debut Performance By An Actor In A Play for his portrayal of Lucky and The Boy. Mr. Robinson and Mr. Martin were both present to accept their honors and to discuss their work in the Beckett play on-the-air on that occasion.
In the Late Fall of 2001, with plans to close and shutter The Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago looming, Mr. Robinson returned to Godot for a third and final staging of Beckett's work, this time at The Harrison Street Galleries Studio Theatre of Oak Park, IL. Mr. Robinson directed, designed, produced and played Vladimir opposite Tom Carlson as Estragon, John Martin Keenan as Pozzo and Bruno Bafia ( who also served as Production Stage Manager ) as Lucky and The Boy. The 2001 Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago revival of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot earned fine reviews and ( with its closing on Dec. 30, 2001 ) was the final public production staging of a play by the multiracial, non-Equity professional chamber theatre. Now, 27 years after he first directed the play in St. Louis, and 18 years after he last directed the piece in The Greater Chicagoland area, Darryl Maximilian Robinson still has fond memories and takes great pride in having staged Beckett's most acclaimed work, and he expresses his deep gratitude and thanks to the trio of talented casts and crews who joined him in the huge challenge and true journey that is Waiting for Godot!
"...Darryl Maximilian Robinson vividly demonstrates how astute direction, superior acting and a wonderful sense of irony and humor can transform an intellectual masterpiece into an effervescent and lively evening of theatre." -- Mike Spitz, Nightlines Theatre, June 4, 1997.