Hugh Aaron resides in a community that thrives from the creativity of its engaging older population. On the Atlantic shores of Cushing, Maine, not far from Portland and directly on the mid-coast of the state, is a community where many accomplished artists have settled to further explore their talents throughout their retired years. Hugh has found the community to be ideal for showcasing his plays and stories. “Here in Cushing we have a few retired actors as well as a previous film director from Columbia University. There is a lot of talent in this town for both accomplished performers and those who have never before had the opportunity to get involved,” says Hugh.
Most of the performances take place at local venues that benefit from the large audiences Hugh has been able to attract. Play attendees have raised several hundred dollars for Cushing’s non-denominational church and a nearby town’s library. The library has offered Hugh and his cast a percentage of the profits, but he prefers to give back to the community. “The neighborhood has been extremely supportive and willing to participate. The plays are events the whole community can look forward to.”
Hugh finds great enjoyment in his writing and strongly believes that it adds to his longevity. “Other than staying healthy physically, there are two things that allow you to live longer. One is to love and to surround yourself with people who love you, and the second is to be active and socially involved.” Although writing is a solitary activity that requires him to think alone at his computer, he maintains a great balance with the social benefits that come from presenting the plays to the public.
His most recent play, and arguably his most successful to date, is “Doctor Banner’s Garden.” It has been performed several times in three different locations around the area. The play has also been professionally produced by a theatre company out of Massachusetts, which fully staged the play for five performances. The plot follows the evolving relationship between two elderly women and a group of younger college students who have offered to help cultivate their garden. Hugh explains the play’s important themes are relatable to an audience of any age. “The young students begin to discover the wonderful lives of the women, and this is a scenario that happens often. Many young people have no idea what they can learn from their elders.” The play also touches upon more grave subjects when one of the women questions her place in this world as her health continues to deteriorate. Hugh modestly remarks that every performance of “Doctor Banner’s Garden” has received a standing ovation thus far.
Hugh’s passion for writing originated during his teenage years and never seemed to cease. In 1984 he sold his business and has kept his mind active in the arts ever since. In the past 30 years, Hugh transitioned from a businessman to a published author and well-known playwright. When he is not writing, he is sailing his boat off the coast of Maine with his wife, Ann, who has become a prolific painter. With the help of the community, the couple maintains an inspiring lifestyle of love, creativity, and healthy living.
Written By: Robyn Casper