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      “What is Truth?” Pontius Pilate, John 18:38

      blo1928usyhn2I read THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT when it was first proposed as a replacement for Silent Sky, which had been postponed due to the closing of the Coolidge Theatre. I started reading and plowed through the entire play in one sitting. It is what we like to call a pleasurable read. The dialogue was quick, sharp and very funny. It’s the kind of dialogue you immediately want coming out of your mouth, especially in front of an audience. And look! There’s a male character in his mid to late 50s who’s sarcastic, cutting, overbearing and delightfully rude. I rarely audition for plays but I knew this was something I’d want to do, if I could make it work.

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      I believe it will rise again! This would have been the 37th consecutive Dickens of a Christmas. I'm not happy for the reason, but I am pleased that we are not inviting thousands of people to Wellsboro during a pandemic. It can be revived when it's safe to do so, but until then we will keep as many of our people alive and well as we can. And it is so much fun to reminisce about the past 36 years, and that's where we will go now. We go way back for this one. Larry and I have been on the street, in costume, for all 36 years. I in my homemade bonnet and my Christmas tree skirt turned into a cape. And Larry in his antique top hat and his London Bobby's heavy wool cape. We have been asked to pose for a picture thousands of times I suppose, and the "payment" we always requested was to have the person(s) tell us where they are from. Answers ranged from foreign countries to local folks at their first Dickens. We've met lots of wonderful people who were having a grand time in Wellsboro.

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      Emily Penrose, the editor-in-chief of the unnamed magazine in The Lifespan of a Fact, has spent her career navigating the demands of art, business, and truth. In this play she is the rope in a tug-of-war that is partially of her own making. She knows the story she wants to publish is really good—deeply moving and meaningful, of the highest literary standard. But does it meet her journalistic standards? And if one is to be sacrificed a bit, or a lot, which should it be?

      b2020po20HG has an Artistic Planning Committee that works to create the slate of plays and productions for the following season. We usually have a fairly solid idea of the next season by May of any year; then we tweak it a bit and let it settle in and work through any issues so that by September we have the graphics for each title and dates of performance and venues and directors. This year, of course, May came and went with no slate for the 2021 Season. 

      bhdu19u089ihnw2Today is the memorial service celebrating Celia Finestone's life. It isn't difficult to celebrate such a life: it was rich and full and overflowing. I first met Celia when she was caring for my mother, Jean Putnam, who was dying of Alzheimers Disease in the Green Home. We were there every day usually for a meal or two, and more often than not this kind lady with the warm gracious smile would be tending to her.

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