Samuell Beckett’s 1953 tragicomedy Waiting for Godot is one of those avant-garde plays that everyone’s heard of but most people haven’t actually seen. It has a reputation for being remote, intellectual, and difficult to understand, but Fort Worth playwright-actor-director Rob Bosquez didn’t see any of any of those qualities when he first read the script in high school and years later, in 1999, co-starred in a production of the play at Hip Pocket Theatre.
“I felt like I ‘got it,’ even if I wasn’t exactly sure what I got,” said a laughing Bosquez, who is directing Drag Strip Courage’s current production of Beckett’s oddball classic at Arts Fifth Avenue. “You have an immediate reaction to his words, of course, but then certain things about it –– a scene or a line of dialogue –– will click with you later, and you’re, like, ‘Oh, yeah.’ The ghost of the play gets inside you and haunts you. Beckett inspired me to write plays the way I wanted to and not worry so much about whether people get it.”
Bosquez is a rarity in North Texas –– a playwright whose original pieces have been regularly produced on area stages over the years. As a staff teaching artist who works with the youth theater program at Artes de la Rosa, he’s penned scripts with kids and teens on everything from the HIV virus to Bigfoot. (He also co-founded and helps oversee children’s theater projects at Stage West.) Five of his plays for adult audiences were given full productions by the now-defunct Butterfly Connection back in the 2000s. As an actor, Bosquez has performed plum roles in plays by Tennessee Williams, Sam Shepard, and David Mamet. But when Drag Strip Courage founder Seth Johnston asked him to helm Waiting for Godot, Bosquez hadn’t directed a script with grownup actors for grownup audiences in five or six years, so he jumped at the chance.