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      Back in the summer of 1968 or somewhere around there, I was a high school student and was cast in an MU graduate student’s production in the old Allen Hall of BLACK COMEDY. It’s a long one-act and we had a blast performing in it. I thought I was pretty cool acting with university students since I was just high schooler.

      That summer holds some very vivid memories. I can remember the production, and one of the actors—a professor at MU—who was hysterical in his role. I can remember a woman in the front row of opening night laughing raucously and how fun it was to elicit that response. I can remember the perfume of the MU student who played opposite me.

      The Artistic Planning Committee is in the midst of planning for the 2018 Season. You may have seen a few mentions on Facebook asking for suggestions of favorite shows or plays that you think HG should produce. We’ve gotten some interesting and varied responses, but facing the decisions regarding a season are kind of like shopping at Wegmann’s and I get overwhelmed with the number of choices.

      A number of years ago some audience members encouraged us to produce shows that were edgy and possibly controversial. Salty, crude language was a plus rather than a caution. We asked audiences during curtain speeches what they thought about that, and the vocal responses were affirmative.

      Wedding Belles 7758We’re working on a play called Wedding Belles. It takes place in June of 1942. My parents were married in June of 1942. It takes place just as our involvement in WWII kicks into gear. The play is packed full of little references to life in a small town in the US at this critical turning point.

      At one point in the play, a young 18 year old tries on a number of different wedding gowns. She’s poor and family-less. She hasn’t had much to live for until she meets a young man who sees value in her, who affirms her. And in this scene some new-found friends—older ladies of a garden club—provide her with their own wedding dresses as possible attire for her quickly arranged wedding.

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      I’ve been ill lately. Had a brief bout in the hospital—my first ever in the hospital. Had a bunch of tests. Wiped out completely in terms of energy and mental clarity.   I don’t like being ill. I’m rarely ill and rarely serious enough to cause me to miss work or not be able to drive or function. This one accomplished all of that.

      But there’s nothing like a good trauma or illness or tragedy to help put things in perspective. Self-analysis is a healthy thing. Having something get our attention so much that we are forced to look at our lives and surroundings and situations with a more critical perspective. It’s a healthy place to be.

      One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It just has a really cool title, doesn’t it. It’s taken from a line in an old nursery rhyme, so it must be cool. And it has staying power. Just what any author wants: staying power…a cool title.

      We chose this play over a year ago. I knew Gabe Hakvaag would be interested in directing it. He began right away with ideas and approaches and visions. He began talking about the set with hanging panels of white material. I like hanging panels of material, but I couldn’t get the picture in my head. Every time I talked with him he began talking really fast about this idea or that idea…and the hanging panels…and who might be able to play this character or that character…and the hanging panels. Gabe connected with this play.

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