The Companion Piece was born of Beth Wilmurt’s interest in the hard life of American vaudeville performers and a book, A General Theory of Love, about the biological need we have to be near other people. These sources sparked an idea for a new piece about a performing Duo struggling and failing to make an act, and a Headliner who has long since perfected his own solo act. The show explored themes of identity, success, and the attempt to make things work in art and life. After initial workshops in Berlin and San Francisco, we set to work in earnest in December 2010 at Z Space. We began with the set, costumes, props, actors and designers on the Z Space stage, but no script or story. Seven weeks later we had a show. The Companion Piece was a difficult show to describe in words, and much easier to point to. The project was among the most demanding, exhausting, exciting and rewarding experiences I’ve had. When one colleague asked me if I’d go through it again, the answer was easy. Yes.