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HMTC This Week – Rare opportunity, DEATH OF A SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT


This weekend and the next there will be a rare opportunity to see a brand-new play. The play is called DEATH OF A SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT and it features Shirley an older generation wacko concerned about social security benefit checks.


There is more to the story but what is interesting about this script is that it was written right after I saw a farce on Broadway. I came out of the show desiring to write a farce. Most of my plays to that time have been dramas. I wanted to stretch my wings and explore wall to wall comedy.


All went well in the writing until 2006. I could not finish the play. Frustrated I put it in the drawer and only pulled it three months ago. I invited Don Brakeman an actor and director I respect to read the script with me. We enjoyed the read through. We tried to think of a third actor for the part of William and we thought of the fine work Greg Gonzalez, Jr. had done in Gunsmoke. We asked him to take a part. He read the script and accepted. We even got director Raymond Gomez to direct. The problem we had after this preliminary casting was how to finish it. I did not have an ending for this play.


I shared my script ending problem with my daughter. She gave me a very logical and sensical ending within minutes. I will not tell you here what she suggested because I do not want to ruin the ending for you. What I will say her suggestion worked perfectly. I even included another character. Enthusiastic Sarah McCullough is playing that part beautifully.


So, what is the rare opportunity? The rare opportunity is that this play has never played to an audience before. Ordinarily, the play should go through staged readings to fine tune the work. We just jumped in and started rehearsal. I play the character Shirley, but I also cannot stop myself from being the playwright. When I realized there were some issues, I could not make adjustments because actors already studied their lines. My playwright mind keeps getting in the way because I am noting changes that need to be done and I cannot impose them at this time. Best I can do is learn from the work for a final rewrite after the production dates.


DEATH OF A SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT plays on July 23, 24, 25 and July 30, 31, and August 1. Shows are at 6pm Friday and Saturday, and the Sundays are 2pm matinees. The play features actors from the area: Don Brakeman, myself Silvia Gonzalez S. (AKA Silvia Gonzalez Scherer), Greg Gonzales, and Sarah McCullough. The Dtickets can be purchased at My Corazon Bookstore at 300 N. Irwin in Hanford and online tickets are available at http://www.HMTC.Ticketleap.com/social-security

Silvia Gonzalez Scherer

July 20, 2021

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