Waiting for Godínez

"Why does it happen, over and over and over? Why do they take you, my friend, and put you in a cage in the hopes of deporting you? What harm have you done to them? You are as much of this country as you are of México. But you are not home in either place. Ni de aquí, ni de allá." With these words, Isabel describes the absurd reality suffered by her longtime friend, Jesús, who is kidnapped each night...
"Why does it happen, over and over and over? Why do they take you, my friend, and put you in a cage in the hopes of deporting you? What harm have you done to them? You are as much of this country as you are of México. But you are not home in either place. Ni de aquí, ni de allá." With these words, Isabel describes the absurd reality suffered by her longtime friend, Jesús, who is kidnapped each night by immigration officials and thrown into a cage to await deportation. But each time, Jesús escapes and makes his way back to the park to be with Isabel and await the mysterious Godínez. Inspired by Samuel Beckett’s iconic Godot play and our country's anti-immigrant policies, WAITING FOR GODÍNEZ explores the meaning—and absurdities—of identity and belonging.

Olivas discusses the writing of his first full-length play in the essay, "From Dystopia to Absurdity: On Being a Chicano Writer in the Age of Trump" published in the Los Angeles Review of Books: https://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/essays/dystopia-absurdity-chicano-writer-age-trump.
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Waiting for Godínez

Recommended by

  • Doug DeVita:
    22 Oct. 2020
    "But if I were a dog, I would not be deported each night and I would live in a beautiful casa at the beach."

    Brilliant aphorisms such as the one above abound in this gut-wrenching tragic-comedy from Daniel Olivas; taking Beckett's absurdist WAITING FOR GODOT and expertly weaving the current border crisis into the fabric of the story, Olivas has created a powerful work that stands as a heartbreaking piece of theatre on its own considerable merits. A must read, must produce play.
  • June Carryl:
    31 Aug. 2020
    The play is searing and heartbreaking. People on repeat, reliving the trauma of being caged, and the stories they tell themselves and each other to get through. I love this play.

Character Information

  • Isabel (aka Chavalita)
    40 - 50,
    Latina
    ,
    Female
    Younger actor may play role but appropriate makeup needed to approximate older age.
  • Jesús (aka Chuy)
    40 - 50,
    Latino
    ,
    Male
    Younger actor may play role but appropriate makeup needed to approximate older age.
  • Piso
    40 - 70,
    Any race / ethnicity
    ,
    Male
    Character is described as having white hair though in good health and hearty. Younger actor may play role but appropriate makeup needed to approximate older age.
  • Afortunada
    20 - 30,
    Any race / ethnicity
    ,
    Female
  • Child
    10 - 15,
    Any race / ethnicity
    ,
    Any
    Child is gender neutral and expresses in dialogue that it does not matter what gender they are.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Playwrights' Arena
    ,
    2020

Production History

  • Community Theater
    ,
    Playwrights' Arena (Summer Reading Series)
    ,
    2020

Awards

Selection
,
Playwrights' Arena Reading Summer Series (curated selection of 10 plays with primary objective of in-house AD/Board consideration for future seasons)
,
Playwrights' Arena
,
2020