Waiting for the Bus
 by Ramon Delgado
 Stetson University Stover Theatre
 March-April 2006

This play was one of three published one-acts by Stetson alumni, presented at a Homecoming in celebration of Stetson's one hundredth season.

Waiting for the Bus is an homage to the absurdist genre of the mid-twentieth century. It won first place from the national honorary Theta Alpha Phi in 1959, and has received professional productions in Los Angeles and Off-off-Broadway. According to the playwright, the play is "an allegorical, theatrical poem," an avant-garde piece in which an elderly couple blend into the absurd and surreal world they witness while waiting for the bus.

It featured interesting character work in a presentational style, as three young actors played ancient, barely ambulatory senior citizens, and a pretty young woman from Jamaica played a 1950s shoe shine boy. Their collective physical and vocal work, coupled with the play's minimalistic scenery, was a good example of Brechtian gestus (a full-body character "mask" with socioeconomic implications) that proved very moving in the end (although such an emotional response is perhaps not what Brecht would have advocated). My conceptual approach for this one accentuated a flavor of circus pantomime, which may have bolstered the "sad clown" feeling at the end. On the Brechtian side, there was frequent breaking of theatrical illusion, especially concerning the age of characters (by having them tap dance, for example, or "stare into the existentialist void" at the audience).

Ramon Delgado is a distinguished playwright and professor on the faculty of Montclair State University in New Jersey. In addition to his full-length and one-act plays, he also authored an acting textbook and edited the Best Short Plays series from 1981 to 1989.

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Copyright 2006 by Ken McCoy.