I could keep going down the list of Beckett plays. Most of which follow this similar pattern of dialogue with little action or need for a story. Well, theres usually a story, but its not very often obvious, and I'd dare to say, even less important. So then how is it that without actions, Beckett has been able to create some of the most avant-garde, influential, and unique plays of the last 100 years?
I think we have to come back to that question of "What is a play?" which I find just as impossible to define as "What is music?" or "What is art?" Aristotle definitely had some thoughts on the subjects, but lets be honest, there wasn't that much variety when he was around. In an age where an overturned urinal is voted the most influential artwork of the 20th century, I'd have to say that the lines that have previously confined the realms of theatre (and really all art) have been no only blurred, but completely erased. Beckett's shortest play lasts 45 seconds. It's called Breath. Here it is, in a nutshell: lights up on a mess of a stage; long inhale; long exhale; lights down. Now there are definitely categories within theatre that have their...not boundries, but guidelines: a "well-made-play," realism, experimental, post-modern, etc. But to stay that one performance is a play and another isn't because of a set of criteria I find a little absurd and contradictory to the very nature of art.
But maybe thats just me.