Play by Play, Stage East’s theater appreciation course, begins its first session of 2021 on Wednesday, February 17th at 7 pm. The topic of the course is the Theatre of the Absurd, a movement that began in the wake of WWII in France and whose influence on theatre is felt to this day. Participants will chart the course of this influence with facilitator Mark Macey. From Beckett’s iconic Waiting for Godot to Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu, Play by Play places the Theatre of the Absurd in context and explains why it matters today. Participants can expect to leave the course with a better grasp of theatre history as well as a richer understanding of how plays work and how to discuss them critically. 

“The goal of the course,” says the facilitator, “is to give folks the tools to enjoy theatre more deeply. When we understand how something works … when we can discuss it thoughtfully with others … when we can put things in context and feel informed … our appreciation is deepened. That’s what this course is all about.”

Play by Play’s last session culminated in a performance of a new adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life. A similar ending is planned for this session, with details to be announced. The session line up is as follows: 

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett—February 17

The Dumbwaiter by Harold Pinter—February 24

The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionesco—March 3

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard—March 10


4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane—March 24

Topdog/Underdog by Suzan Lori-Parks—March 31

Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu—April 7


Culminating event TBD—April 21 

Signups along with more information are available here:, or you may contact Macey with questions at

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett at the Festival d’Avignon in 1978. Photo by Fernand Michaud.