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      NAMASTE by Thomas Putnam

      annloydNow I'm hearing on the news that cases of COVID19 are increasing particularly in places where groups gather like theatre and houses of worship. Great. Two weeks before we open ALMOST, MAINE and the news comes that it really might not be safe for audience members to sit in one room with a bunch of other people for an hour or so. Great.

      The actors seem ok with it. But they're all young. Well, no, not all; we've got two really old folks in this play and I know them quite well so that's why I can say “really old folks.” These two are taking this all step by step and realize that anything could happen any day and they're ok with this. We're being careful during rehearsals; they were ready to present their part of the play three months ago, so these rehearsals are a time to crawl around in these character's skin in a more relaxed way. No real concerns about forgetting lines; just a chance to settle in with Pete and Ginette.

      We're developing the whole big plan for cleaning and disinfecting and sanitizing and keeping people safe. I sure hope we don't have some folks who make a big stink about wearing a facial covering. I'm hoping we can present a really wonderful play with wonderful characters and actors and touch some lives. Yes, the audiences will be a little smaller than we're used to, but that's ok, too.

      We're getting used to news that is unsettling or scary or grievous or sad. We're getting used to wearing a facial covering. We're getting used to not shaking hands; though the other day after an intense and meaningful conversation with a fellow I don't know all that well I shook his hand because he offered his. It was good. I did use hand sanitizer after he left and I was careful not to touch my face; but, gosh, it was good to shake someone's hand.

      Yes, the news keeps coming, but we're going to prevail. No matter what happens, we're going to prevail. Namaste.

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