In 1985 Samuel Beckett directed “Waiting for Godot”, “Krapp’s Last Tape” and “Endgame” as stage pieces with the San Quentin Players. All three productions were grouped together under the overall title “Beckett Directs Beckett.” As such they toured throughout Europe and in some parts of Asia to wide acclaim. Furthermore, each time a new tour was organized for these productions, after sometimes lengthy lacunae, Beckett has, with the assistance of Walter Asmus, and/or Alan Mandell, brought them back to performance level.
Though the initial productions as staged in 1985 already brought forth substantial changes in the published acting texts of the plays, each time a re-mounting of the productions occurred additional changes were made. The same was true during the production period for these television versions, with Beckett sometimes making textual changes on the telephone even as a given scene was being taped. For these productions, it was our intention and design to open them out beyond the confines of the stage in order to accommodate them to the television medium. Walter Asmus and Alan Mandell, both of whom enjoyed the author’s complete confidence, were responsible for this part of the endeavor.
- Mitch Lifton