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Ragtime Performance Canceled

Discussion in 'News' started by Grog12, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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  2. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Wow. It's amazing how self righteous some people can get.

    We just did "Ah, Wilderness" and had two people walk out because of it's inappropriate content. I think they say "****" twice in the script and there is a "lowbrow" woman in the show. But the show was written in 1933... it's far tamer than anything on TV these days.

    If you don't like to have your mind expanded and to be challenged to think once in a while there is always Children's theater.
     
  3. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that as a predominately white society, we're trying to "make-up" for our mistakes made 200 years ago by simply ignoring these taboos and trying to move on.

    Its like how we've completely covered up the massacre of the Native Americans when we first came here. No where in a school text book will it say that the settlers in America intentionally committed genocide. It will say, "the native Americans hadn't built up the immunities to the small pox virus that the Europeans had"

    Props for not letting us forget the mistakes we've made in the past, we need to learn and grow from them, not cover them up. James Joyce said, "A man's errors are his portals of discovery."

    As for people walking out of a show due to "inappropriate content" (however they define it), there's a wonderful thing called the internet. Look up a review, many of them will say if its a family friendly show or not.
     
  4. Marius

    Marius Active Member

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    I can certainly understand the reasons behind the decision. We did Ragtime at the high school at which I taught and if someone were just wandering by and heard some of the dialogue and didn't know what was going on they could be upset. But that decision should have been made before the project was greenlit, before rights were procured, before anything beyond the 'Hey, kids. Let's put on a show.' stage of preproduction. We did a production of Corpus Christie when I was at FAU. The Florida State Legislature tried to shut us down, and we even got picketed one night. I went out to talk to the protestors and asked them what they didn't like about the show. They couldn't tell me because none of them had read or seen it. They just heard it was bad. It sounds like the same mentality here. They probably heard the name Ragtime, assumed it was some Scott Joplin musical, and then forgot about it until someone complained. Suits really p*ss me off sometimes. :evil:
     
  5. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    You all remember "Offsides" the student written play performed in Stone Bridge High School 4 years ago? The outcry was so bad that Dick Black, our delegate in Richmond, started spewing stuff about clamping down on content in public school plays. He gave the order to compile a set of content regs without even seeing the play. He just heard about it from letters and emails.
     
  6. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    It's really sad today how many shows are unable to be performed at the high school or community theatre level because they might offend one or two people. My take: don't come to the show if you don't like it!

    The good news is that when you get to college, you can put on almost anything and still sell lots of tickets, often to the community and not to students! We just put on City of Angels, and it has pretty much everything in it you're not supposed to do: language, sex (no nudity), obscene gestures, gunshots, smoking (real cigarettes), etc. But it was a d*** good show!
     
  7. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    We've been really lucky at my high school. In the past ten years we've done a number of controversial shows including A Chorus Line, The Crucible, Cabaret, and we were one of the first high schools to do The Laramie Project 6-8 years ago. Our choral director was down in Texas (we're in Wisconsin) and he even heard on the radio all of the criticisms of our school, and subsequently called in and made a defense.

    The ability to put on a controversial show, at least for high schools, depends largely on the director and the principal. Our principal applauded the shows we've put on, and would like to see more of them. Many schools aren't that lucky though.

    We've had our share of irate community members though. We gave out a bunch of comp tickets in a senior-citizen golf tournament for Cabaret, and many turned around and said they wouldn't come because of the Nazi nature of the production. Oh well, we weren't making money off of your tickets anyways.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    A local public high school drama teacher I know decided to do "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" and "Laramie Project" in the same year. She said, "I figure I might as well offend everyone in the same season".
     
  9. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Our middle school did Joseph this past year for that matter. The funny part is that if you look at the production, and maybe just because it's the Jr. production that they did, there's really no references to the Bible whatsoever, but there are always people that judge without warrant.
     
  10. Marius

    Marius Active Member

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    I used to teach at a Baptist college in Louisiana, and we got complaints about a production of Godspell, for goodness sake! There's always going to be someone who's only joy in life is raining on other people's parades. That is one of the greatest things about Theatre. We can usually rise above censorship and close-mindedness. Usually.
     
  11. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Absolutely untrue. I've seen just as many, if not more college productions get edited than HS ones.

    Here's the sad truth about the times we live in folks: Both sides of the political spectrum are censoring people. The right hides behind the bible and family values. The left hides behind hate speech and predjudice.

    Both want to take away your rights as defined by the 1st Amendment.

    I applaud people who quietly get up and leave a show they're offended by.

    I do everything in my power not to punch people who picket shows they've never seen.

    I love parents who sit with their children and explan what they're seeing. I love the ones who know when to wait and show a child something when they are a little older.

    You as an American have the choice to walk away from something you find offensive.

    You do not have the right to never be offended.
     
    gafftapegreenia likes this.
  12. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    what can i say to that but

    Sigh, call the political correctness police
     
  13. Marius

    Marius Active Member

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    I want that on a tee shirt. :)
     
  14. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Come to think of it...so do I.
     
  15. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    I'd buy that... (maybe a new CB T-Shirt?)
     
  16. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    As someone who lives nearby, it seems a lot of you are missing some facts about this.

    1. The production will be done outdoors, in an area where people (including small children) who aren't necessarily there to see it, can pass by and potentially hear one word out of context.

    2. The production may be put on by a community theater group, but it's being done in a city park. So it's really the city that had to be cautious about the language.

    Given that, I don't think the city was out of line in asking the performance not to proceed.

    Also, I read yesterday that the production will continue in an indoor theater (possibly privately held) in the area.
     
  17. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    See I get all that. Read it and understand it.

    Here's the deal...If any of them thought it would be a problem they should have thought about that more than two weeks before opening. Both the city and the theatre company should have thought about that one before hand.

    The one thing that truely gets under my skin is censorship. And this is what this is a case of. I don't particularly care that people in the area might here something they don't like, including children. If you don't want your children to hear it know what they're doing and where they're going, and what's going on there.

    Its not the governments job to protect your children from things you don't like. Its yours.

    And for godsakes people stop taking things out of context.

    If you hear something out of context don't have a knee jerk reaction...figure out whats going on first before becoming a raging ball of whine.
     
  18. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Len, I can appreciate your comments and see where you're coming from, as I've been part of productions outdoors in the south Loop and Grant Park where bad language abounds, but I agree with Grog on this one.

    Yes, the city probably shouldn't have put on the production in a public, outdoor place where anyone and everyone can just wander around. But in this instance, I fault the city for not looking at the script more closely. It's a little late to go, "Oh crap, we can't do this show, look at the language in it, it might offend someone," when you're already in tech rehearsals (which I inferred from the article, where it talks about hearing the phrases over the PA), and opening is, well, now a week away. Someone dropped the ball here, and now all the effort that went in to the show from all parties is wasted.

    But, I think the big picture here is how easiely offended people are. An example, and I might have posted this in the punching bag two weeks ago. I saw a production of The Producers at The Muny a few weeks ago, and as I was talking to Denny Reagan, the Muny's president (long story how we know him), a lady walked up and started railing for 15 minutes about how the show was inappropriate for anyone to see, and how she thinks the current trend of shows on Broadway is also inappropriate. Denny asked her if she'd seen any of them, to which she replied no, and also mentioned that her friends told her not to see The Producers, because she'd find it appalling. She went anyway, and now wants to make sure no one else can see it.

    To me, it's people like that who just need to shut the fu*k up and mind their own business. America has free speech laws, and while yes, you are entitled to let others know you're opinion, you aren't going to shut down an entire professional production just because you are offended. As a side note, there was a lesbian couple in front of me in the audience who got up and left during the number "Keep it gay" without making a fuss of it. I applaud them.

    Regardless, my opinions on censorship and political correctness are that they hurt everyone. Yes, some words should not be tossed around like peanuts because of past connections, but when the word is used as it is in Ragtime, for example, it's there for a reason; to make a point about the dangers and horrors of racism.

    Unfortunately, thanks to the ACLU, and numerous other easily offended people, things like this are being cracked down upon. I was watching a George Carlin clip last night that tangentially dealt with this, and I pretty much agree with him; people need to chill the fu*k out.

    My apologies for the rambling, I sort of lost my point in there somewhere.
     
  19. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    The only offensive thing in the producers is how they portray LD's. :snooty:
     
  20. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    The portrayal of the (female) Lighting Designer was the most accurate stereotype in the show. I shan't name names, but many come immediately to mind.
     

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