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      “IT'S ALL THIS HOPE THAT'S KILLIN' US” by Thomas Putnam

      b09090We open THE VIEW FROM HERE this Friday. In some ways it doesn't seem real that we are actually going to open. ALMOST, MAINE was originally scheduled for March, got postponed, then performed in July. Somehow that was a bit different, though admittedly a weird experience. The radio festival was a different bird altogether since it was recorded then aired on-line. I'm not sure why this production is different. It's not the play/script; it's just the possibility of something certain in a time when nothing is certain; are we really going to open? Our expectations are all muted or colored by the very real possibility that the object of those expectations may never happen. The world we live in.

      Fern tells a story in this play about a young boy with asthma who is determined to swim underwater against all odds that his respiratory system will even allow him to do so. Everyone on the sides of the pool are full of expectations, hopeful in the midst of a very uncertain outcome. He makes it to the other side; himself more surprised than anyone. The bystanders cheer. He bursts into tears. His concerned father wonders why the tears? “It's hope, Papa. It's all this hope that's killin' me.”

      Strange. Can hope kill? Sometimes recently I feel like the boy, swimming against all odds with my lungs screaming out to stop swimming. Sometimes I feel the bystanders, watching something occur that I'd certainly hope will happen, but with that hope muted or colored by an uncertain reality.

      It's hope, Papa. Hope has reared it's ugly head. We're stuck with it, and. I am so grateful that we are.

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