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      thI'm ending up playing a small role in Calendar Girls. I wasn't intending to—health issues, family stress, lots of other things going on with HG, but I couldn't find anyone else with the body type, age, availability to play it. It's a small role, but it's the guy who dies. It's the guy who the women of Knapeley village in Yorkshire visit in the hospital and have to sit on an awful uncomfortable settee in the waiting room which leads to an exploration of how they can make money to replace it. It's the guy who has a wonderful love relationship with his wife. All of this in about 28 lines.

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      Set. Many times creating a set is one of the most gratifying and  fun aspects of producing a play. The musical Sunday in the Park with George illustrates this powerfully in that the stage becomes the painter's mind and what happens on stage reflects what's happening inside. The painter begins with “white.” And the stage is bare and white and empty. The Sondheim music trembles with the energy of a blank page/stage/canvas and all the possibilities that are there...waiting.

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      Gloria Steinem once said that women tend to become more radical as they age. I don’t know if I’d choose the word “radical,” but the middle-aged women characters in Hamilton-Gibson’s upcoming production of Calendar Girls do become activists, even if their activism only involves raising money for a settee for the cancer hospital’s family waiting room. Of course, creating a calendar picturing themselves semi-nude to raise that cash might seem a bit radical to some.

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      We’re rehearsing just about every night for Calendar Girls. I’m sorry—and ashamed?—to report that the idea of spending this much time with a group of 10 women was a bit overwhelming. Add to the mix that the women we ultimately cast are intelligent women of strong opinions and I wondered if I was up to the challenge. (Please note that I admire and celebrate strong opinions; it’s just that I wondered if all those various strong opinions in the same room would be too much for me.)

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      CALENDAR GIRLS, the play, is in full rehearsal. I often think I'm going to journal the process of producing a play from its inception until after it closes, but I have never managed to pull it off. By “from its inception” I mean way back when the idea of the play first comes to mind. Of course many plays come into my mind as possible plays for HG to produce, so to write about all of them would mean doing nothing else. So maybe beginning when the Artistic Planning Committee decides that yes this is a play that HG should do.

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