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* Phase 7Performance

We opened ENDGAME on December 11, 1996. The audience entered with

the stage lit. Hamm was in his chair, covered, and Clov was on the bottom step

leading to the kitchen looking at Hamm. Rachel was to begin the opening mime

without warning or lighting change. The only way to cue Rachel to begin the show

was for me to go to a point in the back of the house where she could see me and

give her a small wave.

During Hamm's final soliloquy a slow lighting cue brought the window

lights up and took the rest of the stage down. After Jay covered his face with the his

handkerchief, there was a long pause and then the house lights came up slowly.

There was no curtain call. Jay and Rachel did not move until the house was empty.

What we discovered immediately in performance was that the comedy of the

play was clear to the audience and well received. The pressure of the audience's

attention on the production was a welcome and energizing reality. Jay in particular

had been hungry for an audience and took off in their presence. His high points

were high, and his lows were devastating.

From the beginning we had said that we wanted to keep working right

through performance. We got together everyday to work notes from the night

before and explore things further.

I think we all felt that we were hitting the ball consistently, but that to drop

our guard would be catastrophic.