The increasingly vocal home-grown woke agenda rarely escapes its confines in university and academia, but last week local activists hit the mainstream when the University of Groningen canceled the production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot because auditioning and casting only male actors for the five male character play ostensibly violated the school’s diversity policies.
Woke crowds are keen to out-virtue-signal one another with their contributions to social justice, usually by imposing bans on something; but what is plainly missing in the game is any concept of rational thinking and wise decision making.
The Groningen Internet Courant writes that mainstream European media were flabbergasted by the university’s ban on one of the theatrical world’s most celebrated works.
Waiting for Godot is among the most frequently performed plays of all time that has long been the most popular in the Netherlands, the paper says.
According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeiting, the Groningen University, which seems to be hell bent on turning the cultural center of the northern Netherlands into the “inclusivity capital” of Europe, canceled the play because it has “too many male roles”, although Samuel Beckett’s estate expressly states that it must only feature male actors.
“Irish author Samuel Beckett is often considered the theatrical master of the absurd, his play Waiting for Godot being the masterpiece of the genre,” the French L’Opinion notes. “But reality [in Groningen] is more absurd than fiction.”
“The play’s producer, Medeea Anton (24), said the decision to cancel overlooked the important role of the non-acting crew in the production of the play,” the Irish Times reported.
“Although there was a restriction on the actors, which are only five people in this production, the rest of our production is majority female. We also have trans people, we have non-binary individuals, the majority of the production is people from the LGBT community,” she said.
“I tried to explain to them that it is a legal thing, and that we are a small, amateur theatre society, and we cannot afford to be sued. But nothing I could say during the meeting could change their minds.”
As one blogger remarks, the “fact is that the school is punishing the production for doing the only thing it could do. Diversity is irrelevant to art. Quotas in a theatrical production create a conflict of priorities. It doesn’t matter if a production is all male, all female, all trans, all black or all white, if the artist involved can put on the best show possible.”