Catching Up With…Kristy Dodson

What inspired you to direct Waiting for Godot? It was a piece mentioned to me by some of the ensemble members of the company (Overturn Theatre). I am a huge fan of Beckett but Godot never was one that really fell into my radar of pieces to direct until I realized I had the cast for it.
What resonates for you in this play? The amazing thing about the play is because it is a play about our moment to moment existence, every night/rehearsal is so different. Every moment strikes me differently every time it is done and it always astounds me how wonderfully current the script is in the playing.
Which came first, the site specific location, or the play? The play. As I mentioned before, it was brought up by some of the ensemble members and we received a residency to develop it upstate at NACL last summer. At NACL we got an opportunity to try anything that came to us and moving the playing space outside, given the local description and what Beckett felt was so imposing and ironic about watching life enacted, just seemed right. After that residency I went searching for a space that would have those same elements.
How has the location affected the play? Enormously! The post apocalyptic feeling when being in a Chernobyl like setting is something that cannot be denied. But it gave us a wonderful kind of dis-attachment to the logical and allowed us to have far more possibilities.

What has been the biggest challenge?
I really thought it would be the installation and transforming of the space but sure enough it was the play at large. Beckett didn’t exactly have an affinity for directors which is why there is such an unwavering precision to his writing – which actually goes against director’s training in an collaborative atmosphere. So we had to all learn our places as Beckett has set out for us, loose our egos, and be flexible to change. 
Beckett notoriously refused to allow women to perform in Waiting for Godot.  As a female director, what is your take on it?  Well as Beckett says women do not have prostates so how could they validate the text? These things are often brought up in today’s theatre climate attempting new takes on existing works, gender blind/color blind casting, etc. These things have occurred to me in other works I have approached but not in this one. I wouldn’t be able to validate a woman in it.
What is your most ambitious/outrageous theatre dream? Oh god, probably a bare bones intimate family drama.
What are some of your favorite plays? I definitely consider myself a new works director so it is often the things sitting on my desk and swirling in my brain (huge fan of Ally Collier’s current work in progress Holy Day that I have been following since it’s inception as well as Crystal Skillman’s 4 Edges)
What’s next? A week after Godot closes I will be going back for my MFA at Brooklyn College. And I am directing award winning novelist Joan Roth Schmeichel’s reading of her first play Is It Raining in Poughkeepsie on theater row this Fall.