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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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      One of the huge perks of community theatre is the vast number of people with whom one can rub elbows. A musical offers a grand opportunity since there are usually so many in the cast. Everyone was a joy.

      A few folks were new to me; they may have been in an HG show before but not one that I directed. Nikki York was one. She played Gooch, and her performance was as funny as the sound of the character's name. I had seen Nikki in a few short plays in the HG Women's Project and I was delighted when I saw her walk in for auditions.  When I asked her to read Mame's line she sounded like a confident Mame. Then she read for Vera and she had a completely different voice of the fading actress. I thought, wow, this woman has a good idea of character and is not afraid to explore.

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