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      Farewell to the Interns.

      Each summer we welcome one or two young people who work for nearly three months in all aspects of the HG production process. They are always involved with the summer camp program—this year there were three camps in Elkland, Blossburg, and Wellsboro—and in whatever productions and programs we're working on.

      Katey Pacific and Jay Ritter worked hard all summer and wore a variety of hats. Besides traveling to each of the camps and working with upwards of sixty lively kids, they threw themselves into the big summer musical MAME, performed on the MU campus. They each helped with hauling all the set pieces/furniture, lumber, tools, paint over from Wellsboro.  Both were IN the show. They worked on costuming the whole thing—a cast of over 40. And they did this all in the evenings while camp was going on during the day! Then came the tedious job of putting everything away. (I don't like that part of the job!)

      Then came the radio festival. Each took on the direction of a show or two and they each did a darn good job! Jay was in a few of them as well. They helped with the set up of the whole thing as well.

      And they put up posters for everything: camps, Mame, Radio Festival, auditions for the HGWP (coming up soon), Dueling Pianos (coming up soon. )And we've had a monumental project in culling/sorting out/organizing our cosutmes, props, and accessories. (We have LOTS of hats...and shoes, and gloves, and ties, and belts, and scarves.) We've been utilizing the empty Fifth Season store front to spread much of it out and going through it. (That's why the white panels are in the front windows; so you won't see our clutter.)

      Let's see...somehow they missed the opportunity to mow the office lawn, and to paint the green siding (though Jay did get to paint the steps). But they did get in on lots and lots of sorting/filing of HG Choir music. This seems to be an endless project, and they helped us get caught up—or  close to caught up. They both volunteered at both the Watkins Glen Wine Festival and the NASCAR race as fundraisers for HG. They kept busy most of the summer.

      All of this is possible due to the generosity of Eugene Seelye. Gene often takes a position just out of the limelight, but I'd like to put him squarely in the spotlight. Gene has been a generous and ardent supporter of HG and all the community and school arts for years....decades!  You may not know that he has been active in the Green Free Library and the Tioga County Historical Society. He attends just about every concert and theatre piece in the county. He has been a generous financial supporter for HG programming from the beginning. When we began the Intern Program, he signed up to be a sponsor for one of them. After the other sponsors had to pull out, Gene stepped up and took on both sponsorships.

      Each summer we take the interns out for lunch on their last day. At the lunch Gene is always interested in hearing the highlights and areas of interest of each of the interns. This year he surprised us with his first questions: “What have you taught HG this summer?” The interns seemed stumped for an answer; I think due to modesty and really wondering what to say in front of the two staff members.  I've thought about the question all week. Gene, these two have confirmed that there are young people who are committed to the arts as a means to enriching and empowering the world. They demonstrate lives of creativity and color and affirmation and goodness. They provide a sign of HOPE in a world that is so desperately in need of hope. They encourage us that we're on the right track; that community performing arts are a worthwhile endeavor, and that passion is alive and well.

      Thanks Jay and Katey. Thank you, Gene Seelye. (Catch Gene this Sunday as he portrays Mr. Green—of Green Home and Green Free Library fame—in dialogue with Miss Maisy, played by Barbara Biddison. At the Green Free on Main Street.)

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