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      WE DID IT!

      One of the characters in CALENDAR GIRLS has a line that she delivers a few times throughout the play: “I did it!” They are times of true accomplishment; she has ventured onto roads she had never traveled on before and never imagined she could. For various reasons, they are roads that appear daunting and foreign and untravelable. But travel them she does.

      As we approach the final two performances of CALENDAR GIRLS I find myself saying this: WE DID IT! and marveling that we actually did. Throughout HG’s 28 years there have been a few plays that are like those untraveled roads. Every production has its own set of challenges, of course, but some appear to pose greater hurdles than others. They could be technical intricacies that are big or thematic issues or casting issues.

      LARAMIE PROJECT comes to mind as one of those. The structure of the piece is unusual and that in itself was a challenge. Add to that the thematic element of a young man being murdered because he was gay and the challenge mounts. (I thought we’d get lots of opposition from some of our patrons; we didn’t.) And add the fact that we presented it in repertory with a stripped down bare-bones darker OUR TOWN and the whole venture was huge. But…we did it!

      Let’s see. Some other challenges (and I’m sure I’ll miss some obvious ones.) Our first Shakespeare. Our first one-man play. Our first winter theatre arts camp with 70+ kids. This fall we’re presenting our first Arthur Miller play, and it has a large cast, and it’s heavy and dense and I’m scared to death of it…but like Ruth in CALENDAR GIRLS I’m approaching it with “I can do this; I can do this!”

      And now CALENDAR GIRLS. Though it is not the central theme or element in the play, the fact that some women take off their clothes (though artistically and strategically covered) presented a huge challenge. What I’m most happy about is not that HG has naked—sorry, nude—women on stage, but that we presented a solid presentation wherein the themes of the story are clear and alive and honest. Dealing with grief has been the theme in a number of HG plays and it’s a tough one, but a helpful one. The power and worth of friendship. Overcoming areas in life that seem insurmountable.

      I’m grateful for the experience with this play. We did it. We really did it, and I’m proud and humbled and grateful to all involved, including those of you who joined us in the audience. We did it.

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