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      AWARE MORE MUCH? By Thomas Putnam

      blog019kslo12I'm thinking people are thinking more these days. Or at least more aware. Or maybe more willing to talk about some tough subjects. Or maybe we just have more time to do so? Have you noticed it? Or maybe it's just me. When I stop to think about what we've been through in the past five months, well, it's a lot. And it seems most of my conversations are really substantive. (I don't think I've ever used that word before, but it just proves my point; my vocabulary is even expanding!) Or maybe I just have seen fewer people and those people I do see have a lot on their minds.

      I've got a few good friends who are going through some serious health issues like cancer and meningitis. I have some friends who are picking up and moving far away. Little Wellsboro experienced a Black Lives Matter vigil with some militia looking on, and soon may have a Pride awareness event. Parents and kids lived through three months of un-asked-for home schooling. Whole seasons of sports and theatre and music have been simply canceled. Mental health issues and desperately seeking treatment is hitting very close to home. Out there somewhere there are a lot of people who are very sick, and many of them are dying. And out there somewhere there are people of color who are living in fear—with good reason. And there's more; a lot more that isn't even touching my life but is devastating others.

      What's this got to do with theatre and Hamilton-Gibson Productions. I'm glad you asked, because I've been asking it a lot these days and it just confirms my point that we all are asking a lot more questions and having dialogue about some tough subjects. Essentially this is what theatre is all about: dialogue about some tough issues. We may dialogue about it in many ways—hopefully entertaining ways, at times—but the opportunity for dialogue and exploration is there. I want to seize the opportunity. I don't know how to do it more or better or more effectively, but I want to seize the opportunity. 

      Facebook us. Call us. Email us. Talk to us through your face covering. Write a blog and email it to me. Come to ALMOST MAINE and let us know what you think. Come to auditions for the HG Radio Festival and THE VIEW FROM HERE and SILENT SKY. Invite people of color to come with you. Suggest plays that would work at this time in our history. We're planning our 2021 Season—tentatively, but planning nevertheless—and we're doing a whole lot of exploring and thinking and noticing. I invite you to join the on-going dialogue.

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