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      II'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ON ELECTION DAY by Thomas Putnam

      eyes

      By the time you read this we may actually have the results of this election. If anything this year, we have been given the opportunity to learn how to be flexible, how to wait. So, come to think of it, scratch that first sentence; probably by the time you read this we won't have any more idea of the results of the election than we did on Monday. It's so difficult to wait and to wonder and to try not to imagine what the next four years might be.

      I'm grateful for live theatre and the opportunity to crawl around in someone else's skin. Even in someone's skin I wouldn't choose to live in. Crawling around in someone else's skin helps us to look at things far more objectively than while living in our own skin. My skin is sitting at the same desk and the same chair that it's been sitting at/in for the past however many years. My skin stands at the same sink I've washed dishes at for over 30 years, looking out over the same landscape. To be able to step out of our skin and into the skin of another helps us to see in ways we've never been able to see before. And that's healthy. If we can't look objectively—or at least from another's perspective—at our personal life, our home, our business, our church, our club, our community, and our country we're doomed to die. Recognizing the weaknesses and the errors and the areas that could use correction or change or improvement is hugely healthful; we open up avenues for growth. It's a sign that we care.

      George Bailey has the chance to see things objectively. He's given an opportunity to see the world—specifically his community—as if he had never been born. Wow; that would be an eye-opener. He's given the chance to see from another perspective. I'm grateful on this election day morning to be able to reflect on George Bailey and to crawl around in his skin.

      We had a rehearsal last night for our production of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and it was healthy and wonderful and life-giving. Gordie Dunlap is a delight to work with; committed, flexible, humble, talented. His George Bailey is like putting on a pair of old slippers: warm and comforting and familiar. Gordie played the role in our radio version a long time ago, and his portrayal of Mr. Bailey is even richer and more insightful than it was then.

      We've got a terrific supporting cast and they each have the opportunity of crawling around not just one person's skin, but many! Most play at least three characters. Karin Knaus, Kathryn Shenneman, River Moyer, Tim Wilbourn, Nick Duffy, and Gene Seelye are developing the wide variety of Bedford Falls folk.

      If you haven't voted by the time you read this—and if there is still time—please do so. If you're feeling anxious about the outcome, explore ways you can crawl around in someone else's skin. Read a poem, aloud. Read some engaging fiction. Listen to someone talk—though forbid talking about the election. Doodle. Think about George Bailey. Or maybe Zuzu. Or Potter. Or Tilly. Or Uncle Billy.

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