Patrick will be starring in the Last Cyclist at the West End Theater this May - June. Click here for info

Friday, October 19, 2007

On Tour, New Link, CNN-Worthy...

The Tour is going so very well. We've travelled all over the country. From Sea to shining sea..if you will. In our wake we've left a lot of laughs and some randoms controversey. First things, the tour is soon at an end. We close next thursday, the 10/25. Its a welcomed end and return to my bed. But i shall miss it. The producer came to see tonight's show and was happy as always with the performance. So we haven't started sucking. Great!

Before we get to the good stuff, please first check out the new link i have. The Winger. Its a dance blog filled with jobs and great inside stories. gotta love it!

But in this tour there has been national news! Yes ladies and gentlemen we, a small band of travelling players made national news in Arizona!

Higley district halts Shakespearean production
Hayley Ringle, Tribune
Forty minutes into a two-hour comedy, the Higley Unified School District decided a Shakespearean-themed play was “not to be” for about 700 sixth- through 12th-graders because the content and language were “inappropriate.”Monday morning, the students were watching “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts, when Tara Kissane, the district’s director of visual and performing arts, halted the show. “We stopped the show because we feel that this was inappropriate and not a kind of performance that we want them to see,” Kissane said. “There was inappropriate language and the content was very suggestive. I don’t care what students hear on the streets, that’s not what we believe in presenting to our students.” Kissane would not give any specific examples of what she deemed inappropriate. The Shakespeare play was produced by a New-York based touring company, Windwood Theatricals. According to a play description on the theatrical group’s Web site, Windwood Theatricals, the play “is a whirlwind roller coaster tribute to the immortal bard. Three actors take on the daunting task of performing 37 plays and 154 sonnets in under two hours, illuminating the world of Shakespeare through the use of football, swordplay and hip-hop music.” Fountain Hills Community Theater artistic director Peter Hill, whose company performed this play in March, said the first part of the play is about “Romeo and Juliet” and part of the joke is two guys “plant a big ol’ kiss” on each other. That’s the only thing he could think of that might be deemed inappropriate in the first 40 minutes. “The biggest thing about the show is it lends itself to ad-libbing, and who knows what this particular company was doing with it,” Hill said. Hill teaches a summer camp for high school-aged students and said he shows a commercially-available DVD of this play to the students. “It has innuendo, but that’s it,” Hill said. “I can’t imagine, unless they would take the same offense at the actual Shakespeare. He did write for adults and some of his stuff is pretty bawdy.” Students paid $5 to be bused to the arts center for the voluntary field trip. Kissane said the students will be reimbursed. Kissane said after she announced her decision to stop the play, she was “booed pretty loudly.” “Some of them might have been enjoying the show,” however, “there were a couple of high-schoolers that thanked me as they left. They said they felt uncomfortable,” Kissane said. The district chose the play after recommendations from other unnamed school districts and performing arts groups who had seen it, said “they loved it” and thought “it was fun,” Kissane said. “I thought it was great for college-aged students,” Kissane said. “I just thought it was over some of our kids’ heads, and it wasn’t appropriate for our kids. If I’m going to err on the side of anything, I’m erring on the side of caution.” Kissane said the theater group thought they were performing in front of a “more mature audience” and there must have been some “miscommunication.” “They thought it was appropriate for high-schoolers, but again you have to look at the difference in communities,” Kissane said. “Maybe it is appropriate for New York students, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for Higley students.” The Windwood Theatricals group was not available for comment. A New York Daily News quote from a review of the play posted on the theatrical group’s Web site mentions high school: “Where were these guys when you needed them in high school? … Those who yawned through required Shakespeare classes will appreciate how (Shakespeare Abridged) breezes through his long body of work in a series of frenetically funny sketches … A goofy parody that even Elizabethan Audiences would have enjoyed.” Kissane said all in all “it was a disappointing day. “We wanted our kids to really understand Shakespeare, and it just didn’t happen,” Kissane said. “It just wasn’t what we had anticipated or what we had heard from other people.”

Now this was slightly blown out of proportion. It was cancelled not because shakespeare is evil, but because the school board decided to invite very young kids to this show. We were told this was a high school audience. Not middle school and possibly younger. But still, we made national news for a short time. Go us! A simple band of travelling players got kicked out of Arizona...well, not really, but it sounds better that way.

Basically, the people that run our nation's schools are idiots.