Play cancelled after content restriction conflict

Etta Harkness-Bartholdi, Staff Writer

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South High Theater was unable to run the play The Transdimensional Couriers Union due to the district ban on guns. The consequence of this ban not only stopped the play from being performed at South but also acted as a catalyst for the director’s departure. Disappointment is a shared feeling among the actors about this outcome.

“Are you going to sensor love in art?  Are you going to sensor sex? Hate and violence are more emotional and societal things that exist and that exist in our school,” declared senior Ruth Kendrick “if we are not able to  put that on stage and make statements about it on stage, were not even promoting violence or anything like that, what do we have left?”

Besides just artistic expression, the practicality of the ban is another reason for disappointment among the actors.

“I understand why the district would have a policy like that,” said sophomore, Caledonia Wilson “ I don’t think that banning guns in theatre will stop gun violence.”  

This gun ban was just another issue that snowballed into the director leaving.

“I felt like he was boxed in, he was cornered in the whole situation,” reported Kendrick, “when he was directing another show, we found out that you couldn’t have any swearing in the script. He felt he couldn’t work successfully in this environment. He is a professional director and this environment was not a professional environment for him to work in.”

There were also problems between the director and department artistic director Ellen Fenster. The problems started with a miscommunication between the two and erupted into a conflict that also was a major reason the director left, ““I understand why he felt he needed to leave,” sighed Wilson

“it was sad that he felt that he had to leave though. I think that what the argument was about could have been resolved, If everyone had just taken a minuet and breathed a little bit”

Although this is a disappointing outcome, South has many things to look forward to. The play is being replaced by new short plays, or one acts, directed by Ellen.

“Ellen is directing a series of short plays, there were only twelve or fourteen actors that did continue, and I am one of the ones that did.” said Kendrick “Were doing short comedies by Christopher Durang, 29-30 of november and 6-7 of december”  

The idea of performing The Transdimensional Couriers Union is not completely gone, many are thinking about continuing the  play outside of south. “There are talks of resuming the play during the summer, with the same director” said Junior Will Ibele “we are all hoping to continue the play outside of South.”

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