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HMTC This Week - Waiting for Godot/Waiting to open the theater

Published by the Hanford Sentinel Newspaper on November 20, 2020

(as waiting for normalcy, or even just Godot)

This morning I found myself thinking about the play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. A rather commonly produced play that was published in 1952. Throughout the play, two characters are waiting for Godot. Today, the world is waiting for normalcy.

HMTC was affected by the mandated closure of nonessential businesses in mid-March. The arts will be last to open. Our feelings aren’t hurt. We understand the hierarchy. In fact, ‘Arts’ is the last level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is where certain needs must be met before going on to another level. For example, physiological needs like food and water must be met before needing safety. Safety is needed before social belonging. Social belonging is needed before self-esteem needs are met. Self-actualization is traditionally the final level. The arts are in this category.

It’s been eight months since the last time kids came to the children’s acting class. In the March 18th class, they performed and joked about COVID-19. It was their way to vent their fears. The following week no children came. Just a smattering of adults, and a teen. The following week, no one came. No need to post that operations were on hold. It was already assumed[SG1] .

HMTC is spending this time adding lights, and curtains. A sound booth and thrust stage was put in. California Computer Technologies installed computers for sound and lights to be controlled remotely. I even hung lights to our newly acquired light scaffolds. Easy feat since I am a former rock climber.

In addition, our new technician connected three back lit projectors to back light three custom oversized screens. These will be used for video, to add atmosphere to theater productions. We will also be able to show films.

We are thrilled with the elegant sound booth, made by Frank Caudell. It blends well with the 1876 church. He was also the master builder for the trust stage. Emma’s Bridal shop made a handsome stage apron for it.

More lights arrived this week and I will be hanging them soon. Scott Yarbrough will computerize these lights to connect to our new Wifi, for full light remote controlling.

I visit the empty theater often. Moving curtains around and rearranging the office. I imagine theater productions, and puppet shows for children and families. At home on Zoom, I watch plays and participate on panel discussions. I have learned to make puppets. I continue writing scripts.

In act two the characters in Waiting for Godot get amnesia. They forget why they were waiting. Maybe that’s what we need to do. Get amnesia about 2020 and move forward.

Silvia Gonzalez Scherer

November 18, 2020


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