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      THEATRE IS CONGREGATIONAL by Thomas Putnam

      lifespanWe open a new show this weekend. Somehow it seems like a re-opening, but in fact we've been re-opened since Spring when we offered THE LAST ROMANCE and DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE and had a theatre arts camp and radio festival and choir concert and a series of short plays we called A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S ENTERTAINMENT.

      So why does this feel like a re-opening. Maybe because this is the month that Broadway shows are really coming back. Or maybe because the pandemic is re-surfacing in possibly dangerous ways and we might have to close down again. WE CAN'T DO THAT! We can't close down if there is indeed a way we could in fact close down the virus instead. This is me talking now, not officially HG, but if our community would simply get vaccinated we could proceed without that hovering fear of having to possibly close down.

      Lauren Gunderson is a playwright I've referred to a lot in the past six months. She said that EMPATHY is theatre's secret weapon. This would connote connection with others; walking around in another's skin for a while; telling and listening to new stories...the stories of others.

      In a recent catalog of plays, Gunderson wrote: “I'm most excited about coming back to a theatre that looks like the world, and acts like our best selves. Reopening means coming back together to intentionally and joyful uplift, amplify, employ and affirm diverse stories, writers, designers, directors, actors, stage management and crew. Theatre is congregational, so let's come together.”

      Yes. Yes. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated if you haven't so we can continue with our season and look forward to our 2022 Season. It's not about you; it's about the congregation. First, let's celebrate by joining together in one room and experience THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT. This weekend and next. Congregational. Let us congregate.

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