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* Phase 5 Rehearsal

By the time actual rehearsals began, the entire cast was off book and we knew

the play intimately. Jay and Rachel were veritable experts on the production history

and could speak volumes on almost any word in the play.

However it was clear that knowing a lot about the play didn't prepare us to

perform the play. We were working, right from the beginning on speed. Barney's

work on Nagg was an immediate injection of energy into the process. His instincts

were to push the text to a very high level of energy. This set the bar for the rest of

the cast. It was clear that the text needed not only speed but an energized speed.

What began to emerge was an understanding of the relationship between the

"turns" and the pauses in the text. If the pauses were awkward, for the characters as

well as for the audience then the text began to take on the feeling of a series of jokes

without punch-lines. Vaudeville turns that were broken. It seemed that the more

Hamm and Clov tried to make the turns work, the more the pauses seemed to fit

into the structure. This both accelerated and energized the text. It created a sense of

danger and desperation that also allowed for comedy.

There were times when the pauses became unbearable. They were

embarrassing almost to the point of being painful and only laughable because they

were on the stage. These moments seemed to come only when we took the speed of

the text to the edge of everyone's ability. Earning the pauses took on a profound


Most of the work centered on clarifying the rhythmic structure of the play. I

divided the play into very loose French Scenes. The obvious entrances and exits

made the clearest breaks. There were a couple of other places where a significant