Today's Globe article about the current production of Endgame, with quotes from Robert Brustein on the famous Joanne Akalitis production, tells us that part of the deal for this production is that they will have to follow the script to the letter.
This time around, there will be no radical changes. In fact, the deal signed by the ART and Beckett's estate (he died in 1989) was that they follow the script to the letter: Every dramatic pause, every step and deep breath is scripted.
It's not easy to pull off, says Stern (Director,) who at first thought the directions would be limiting. But instead he says he finds it deeply challenging and exhilarating.
"It's very labor intensive and really exhausting," he says. "The task is really hyper-focused, but it's also very interesting getting the mechanics down. Normally it would be frustrating, but there is a great faith he's such a great writer that it will pay off to strictly adhere to his description."
This is a remarkable bit of pre-show marketing. Following the vision of the playwright is the risk?
It is a wonderful image here: Taking a deep breath, the ART says, "OK, we're going to try this thing. We've heard he's a great writer, I mean some people claim he's a genius, but let's hope that crazy old man knew what he was talking about. And don't say we didn't tell you so if doesn't work out."