HammJosh Parrot
ClovJason Lindner
NaggMatt Oberg
NellKimberly Woodman

DirectorPhilip Kerr
Scenic DesignerKevin Judge
Lighting DesignerJustin Burleson
Costume DesignerRebecca Ann Valentino
Assistant DirectorSarah-Jane Gwillim
Stage ManagerHeidi Meisenhelder

About the Cast
Jason Lindner (Clov) senior, BFA Performance, Wilmette, IL
Matt Oberg (Nagg) senior, BFA Performance/BA English, Larchmont, NY
Josh Parrot (Hamm) senior, BFA Performance, Murrieta, CA
Kimberly Woodman (Nell) senior, BFA Performance, Southfield, MI

About the Artists
Justin Richard Burleson (Lighting Design) BFA candidate Dept. of Theatre and Drama. UM: Lighting Design: "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Fame", "Speed the Plow", "Re Education Club", "Born Guilty", "Elimosinary", "Baby and the Bathwater", "Ghost Sonata", "Miss Julie", "Getting Out", "Search and Destroy", "Pippin"; Asst. Lighting Design with Rob Murphy, "Sweeney Todd". Regional Theatre: Asst. Lighting Design with Kendall Smith, "The Flying Dutchman", Michigan Opera Theatre. Other: Alternative Light Scholarship Award, 1997.

Sarah-Jane Gwillim (Assistant Director) Lecturer, Dept. of Theatre & Drama. Regional/International Theatre: Numerous British television and regional theatre appearances, with Glenda Jackson, Malcolm MacDowell. Additional performance credits include Broadway, off-Broadway, and LORT theatres. Other: Member, British, Canadian, and American Actors' Equity.

Kevin Judge (Scenic Design) BFA candidate Dept. of Theater and Drama. UM: Scenic Design; "Ghost Sonata", "Pippin", "Valentine Fairy", "La Ronde"; Asst. Scenic Design with Rob Murphy, "West Side Story"; Asst. Scenic Design with Arthur Ridley, "Sweeney Todd". Regional Theatre: Scenic Design, "White Picket Fence", The Performance Network. Other: Master Carpenter, Music Theater of Wichita, 1997, 1998.

Philip Kerr (Director) Professor, Dept. of Theatre and Drama UM: over a dozen University productions. Broadway: "Macbeth", "Otherwise Engaged", "The Jockey Club Stakes", "Three Sisters", "Tiny Alice", "A Flea in Her Ear". Off-Broadway: Roundabout Theatre, Carnegie Hall, Manhattan Theatre Club, CSC, Playwrights Horizons. Regional Theatre: Guthrie Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, St. Louis Repertory, McCarter Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, American Shakespeare Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Purple Rose Theatre, Performance Network. Awards: winner, Chicago's Jefferson Award; Director, White Creek Theatre Collective. Other: Member AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SSDC, SAFD and Dramatists Guild.

Heidi Meisenhelder (Stage Manager) BFA candidate Dept. of Theatre and Drama. UM: Stage manager: "Pippin"; assistant stage manager: "Mina and Colossus", "L'enfant et les Sortilèges/Le Rossignol", "The Music Man". Other: Interlochen Center for the Arts: stage manager, "Julius Caesar"; assistant stage manager, "Sweeney Todd".

Rebecca Ann Valentino (Costume Design) is the costume stock manager for University Productions. U-M: "The Choreography of Geography", "The Time of Your Life", "Andromache", "Dialogues des Carmélites". Regional Theatre: Costume designer: "Marcus is Walking" for the Purple Rose Theatre, numerous productions at the Performance Network; assistant costume designer, "Freefall", Theatre Row Theatre, New York; crafts artisan at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Other: BA, Univ. of CA, Santa Cruz; MFA in costume design from U-M.

Program Notes

an excerpt from why beckett by Enoch Brater, Professor UM Dept. of English

A darker work than" Godot", and much darker in English than in the original "Fin de partie", "Endgame" borrows its title from the same game of chess that inspired T. S. Eliot in "The Waste Land". Here Beckett tightens the cord. For an endgame is a serious reduction of forces the fewer the players, the greater the tension... Beckett said that "Endgame" was "difficult and elliptic, mostly depending on the power of the text to claw." The play was, he thought, "as dark as ink." He conceived an early version of the piece in two parts. The first act closed on the apparent death of Nell, with the second act opening on the line Hamm lifts from Prospero's speech in "The Tempest", "Our revels are now ended." But the division proved unsatisfactory. It drew far too much attention to her final withdrawal from the onstage action. The two-act structure also isolated the mood of claustrophobia central to this work in performance. There is, for the audience as well as player, simply no exit. Repetition, especially repetition with a difference, sustains dramatic tension and enhances that play's rising action. Variation on a theme builds not only contrast, but conflict. But in "Endgame", which the playwright called "more inhuman that "Godot"," all cycles have just about run their course. "Finished, it's finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished," the play's opening line, is delivered "tonelessly."This will be a theatrical spectacle of reckonings "closed" and stories "ended."

..."Endgame"is a constant preparation for leave-taking, "the story of two men who want to leave but who never arrive." Yet in the play Clov doesn'tleave and Hamm, according to the playwright, "says No to nothingness." Parting is always incomplete: at the close of the play Clove, the only character who can move, "remains motionless,"frozen in a brief stage tableau that lasts forever. This is, as Beckett said, "pure play. It's a cantata, for two voices." As opposed to the openness of "Godot", this dramatic world is closed in and closing down. When you're trapped onstage you stay, not because you don't want to leave, but because there's simply nowhere else to go: "outside of here it's death." What you can do, however, is move around the chessboard one more time, and Beckett's players show themselves to be quite adept at that. Yet their process of ending, like every other process, is eternal. They may have a little less, perhaps each time around, but their half is always half of something else: "Old stancher, you remain." This is the dark underside of "Waiting for Godot". It is also Beckett's preferred play, "I suppose," he said in 1978, "the one I dislike the least is "Endgame"." For in this work the mise-en-scène is more strictly determined to take command of "the greater smallness" that has always been a playwright's interpretive space, the finite boundaries of a stage. "Endgame "cuts much deeper. "In the smaller theater," Beckett said about a Paris revival, "the hooks went in."