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      B6 16I'm reminded of Emily in OUR TOWN who dies young and then comes back to earth for just one day. "Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anyone to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" I walked with my dog early this morning. It was 45 degrees and sunny. For half an hour everything was perfect. Maybe coming out of a pandemic is very much like coming back to earth was for Emily.

      x2HGWednesday night the cast of Dead Man's Cell Phone gathered for a speed-through, a rehearsal typically held between performance weekends to run all the actors' lines and get notes from the director. During our speed-through I asked Kadee Jay, who plays Jean, about a line she delivers to the Dead Man's Phone. The line is "No, he doesn't want one. He already has one. No, I don't want one. I already have one." I asked Kadee "what did the caller specifically offer?"

      B6 8Strong and resilient writers and performers and directors. Not necessarily experienced, but willing to try something new, and to work at it, and to offer feedback to others along the way. This describes the 2021 HG Women's Project. This is a group of committed women, each currently working on a final draft of her monologue to be produced in November. I sat in, observed, and read one of the monologues on Saturday, June 5, as we heard the original pieces being work-shopped. Six monologues for this Saturday session, each read by a person who did NOT write it. The person who DID write it could watch and listen to her monologue. The goal here is to see and hear it staged.

      B6 4Do you remember in the movie SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE the running line throughout: Good Title! It was said by both Shakespeare and by other playwrights when one or the other would state the working title of their current project. Some of the titles were really lame; others arresting.

      cueA few blogs ago I wrote about the wonderful alchemy unique to community theater – the magic of who shows up. I was talking about actors and who comes to auditions, but the same alchemy applies to that crucial, yet invisible, element – the tech crew. Every play has technical aspects: a set, costumes, props, lighting and often sound design. But not every show, at least with HG, has a set, costume, light and sound designer. Or the team to operate and maintain all these elements during the performance run. Often, that means the director has to wrangle all these details, deliver the end product and tie it all together WHILE running rehearsals, coordinating marketing, etc. I’ve done this for HG shows and can tell you, it is a LOT. But even putting aside the workload, one person designing and delivering every physical element of a show subverts the collaborative nature of theater production. Ideally, there should be multiple voices in the room, multiple eyes on the end product. The director’s role should not be dictatorial. The director should be focused on the end product, on the experience the audience is going to have with this show. My job, ultimately, is to describe what I believe is essential, have designers bring me options, and make choices. But that only happens if enough people put their hand up and say, “I’d like to do that.”

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