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      IT'S THE ONLY VIEW WE HAVE? by Thomas Putnam

      We're in the home stretch in the process of producing THE VIEW FROM HERE. Just a few short weeks. We've been scheduling rehearsals nearly ever day in anticipation of schools opening since two of the four cast members are faculty at area schools. They will have enough challenges without the additional time-consuming, mind-consuming, emotion-consuming challenges of being a character in a play. Being one person is challenge enough; being two people is asking a lot.

      There are numerous references to seeing and the “view from here” in the play. Fern lives in her house; she doesn't leave it. She has a set of binoculars at the ready to check out all the happenings in the neighborhood. And she's got a neighbor friend who provides ample views of the world via tabloids.

      How we see things. There are four people in this group and three are going through a crisis of some sort. The fourth, this aforementioned neighbor, provides commentary on each of the others' situation.

      I've had conversations in recent months, and even more so recently, about COVID 19, about Black Lives Matter, about racism, about an election that's occurring in November, about the efficacy of masks resurfacing decks, about empty nesting. Sometimes the person I'm conversing with has similar backgrounds and life experiences as I have, and our, view is similar. Just as often, however, our experiences are the same and our view is far different. I've wondered how similar backgrounds (like members of the same family) can offer such differing views.

      It is sometimes frustrating when the views differ. I'm working on realizing what a gift the different views can be. Diversity. Difference. Seeing things in a bit different manner. Recognizing the filters we have that shape or color our view. Embracing the different views can be liberatingly enriching and empowering; just what HG is committed to offering.

      Pictured is the original cast of THE VIEW FROM HERE that we produced more than 20 years ago. Peggy Hayes, Janice Testor, Nancy Franciscus List, and Rob Fitzgerald worked on this play over two decades ago; the view was a bit different way back then.

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