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I knew that I wanted some sort of elevation for the stage. This was due to the

sightlines in the Horace Mann as well as my wanting to rig the "ash cans" for Nagg

and Nell to be smaller, by providing cutouts that the actors could hide in. I also

knew that I wanted to use the actual walls of the performing space as the walls of

the "room."

Penny felt that there was much to be gained by designing an environment

that would restrict movement: A floor surface that made Clov's walking difficult

and the movement of the chair close to impossible. I agreed in principal, but her

suggestion that we cover the floor with old mattresses seemed too much (although

it is a very evocative image for the play).

We batted things back and forth. I didn't want to "set" the play in a

recognizable space other than a stage. We talked a lot about the idea of everything

being makeshift in some way, as if Hamm and Clov had been trapped in the

basement of Columbia Teachers Collage and had to come up with the objects of

their lives with what they found. For my part this instinct had to do with my desire

to make the play as "real" as I could. Meaning that I was becoming less and less

interested in illusion and more and more interested in the play somehow breaking

into "real life."

When Penny first showed me the design of a raised platform that was only

eight feet wide with a flat on the upstage edge to be the back wall, I was shocked.

Initially it seemed antithetic to what I was looking for. However upon

consideration it became clear that it was better than what I had been thinking. By

constricting the movement with a ledge instead of walls the set would provide a

claustrophobic sense that was open to the audience. The obvious theatricality of it

fit much better with the direction that the acting was taking.

The platform was dressed with a solid layer of old clothes which would

extend down to the floor of the actual stage. A translucent cube to the left and