Local actors ready to perform play next two weekends

HARLINGEN — Meet Fern.

She’s terrified of leaving her house.

Here’s her friend Arnold, whose wife just left him with their newborn baby. What does he do?

He lets Fern care for the baby.

Although she has agoraphobia, which is the fear of going outside, the townspeople trust her with their children as long as she doesn’t leave the house.

These are just some of the struggles faced by the characters in the comedy “The View From Here” which will open tonight at the Harlingen Performing Arts Theatre at 1209 Fair Park Blvd.

Joel Brotzman-Gonzales, volunteer director of the play, says the work attracted him because it portrays different people dealing with their challenges.

“You have a group of people who have something to deal with, and they all deal with it in various ways,” he said.

Fern’s sister Maple is staying with her, and her friend and eccentric neighbor Carla, creates even more texture in the performance.

At a rehearsal Wednesday, Carol Kent explained how she’s portraying Fern. Kent, 58, was already getting in character by engaging in some sort of idiosyncrasy, grasping each finger nervously and in rapid succession.

Her character, Fern, hasn’t left her house in six years. As is often the challenge of actors, Kent had to put some serious thought into playing someone very different from her.

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