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      It’s wonderful to work with people who have worked with other directors. The rehearsal process becomes something new—we’re traveling a new road together. A few times one of them has indicated that this is not what they are accustomed to; not in a complaining way, just a statement…and I think an acknowledgement of being willing to take the new road.

      After reading through the whole play for the first time together, I encouraged them never to say those lines in the way they just read them. Try something new each time. I’ve said this before in rehearsals with mixed results. The next rehearsal, sure enough, the lines were read in completely new and different ways. I found myself thinking—whoa, why are you saying these lines that way? Realizing they were actually doing what I had asked I settled in for even more assurance that we were in for a ride with this process. Each time we read through a scene that next rehearsal, the lines were read differently. It was a freeing experience—a bit scary— sort of free-falling.

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      We had our first rehearsal of PROOF a few days ago. There is a distinct shift in the process once the first rehearsal has occurred. Just before that shift is the challenging, often frustrating, difficult casting phase. I believe it is the most difficult—at least for me—aspect of the whole production process.

      The origins of a production are the years before wherein I see a play on stage (in NYC or while traveling or in one of the area community theatres or…), or see a movie based on a play, or read about a play in AMERICAN THEATER magazine or in NYTimes, or receive a program from an HG supporter who saw a wonderful production whilst visiting their cousin in Oregon, or hear about a play from one of the members of the Artistic Planning Committee. Ideas for possible plays for HG to produce germinate through years, oftentimes; often the ideas die or fade away or hide for a while or flourish quickly.

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      We’ve had three performances of the Festival of HG Radio and they’ve all been fun. They wonderfully embrace the spirit of our mission: to provide opportunities for people of all ages to enrich and empower their lives through community performing arts. This project does that.

      The youngest in the group is either Bryson Fuhrer who attends Westfield Elementary, or Katie Burke from Mansfield. Either of these—both of these—kids are a joy to work with, and a joy to watch. They are high energy and full of expression and spirit. The oldest in the group—oh, geez—I’m not sure who is the oldest. Larry Biddison may get the prize. Or maybe Bill Bauer. Ed McQuaid is getting up there. There are a few women who may be the winner, but I’m not comfortable listing their names. Sorry for making assumptions.

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      One more night of auditions for PROOF. You’ve put off long enough. Take the step out of your comfort zone and come to auditions tonight. 6:30 at the Warehouse Gallery next to the Native Bagel. Even if you are not chosen for this play, you’ve made yourself vulnerable which is always a freeing experience. You’ve also made yourself known as someone who is interested thus leading to consideration for future plays. And you could possible make yourself some new friends. See you tonight.

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      We’re in the midst of auditions for our upcoming play PROOF by David Auburn. I was introduced to the play via the film with Anthony Hopkins and Gwyneth Paltrow. I saw it a few years ago at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, wherein the family members were black and the grad student white. I’ve read the play a number of times. Yet when someone asks either what the play is about or what is it about the play that I’m drawn to, I find myself at a loss.

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