That play

Loudoun Easterner
February 9, 2005

We are going to try to avoid at least some of the controversy involved in the “Postcards from Paradise” play at Stone Bridge High School. We are little surprised about it, but we know that drama instructors can be on the cutting edge, witness some of the high school plays directed by our friend Kathy Bleutge, among the best teachers of her time. When she was at Park View High, we were responsible for one of the productions, urging her to stage a Thornton Wilder play that absolutely no member of the audience understood. We still thank her for that.

Because of those days, we also know that drama departments teach kids as young as freshmen, and we understand when some parents object to exposing their children to what should be adult themes. We did not see the play at Stone Bridge, but we have heard some of the comments. We would not have gone to the play on a bet, knowing there were no car chases or stabbings.

Our guess is that some of the audience hated it, and some did not. As a general rule, based on our experience as a parent during the ill-fated Wilder play, we now prefer drama departments to stick to the standards in hopes of filling the auditorium. We admit, as you already know, that our way is not always the right way.

If our public officials must comment, as is their right, we simply ask that they do it on their own time. At least some of us did not elect local or state officials to be our conscience in social matters. In other words, do not preach if you are not a preacher. If our local officials want heads to roll over the play, they should pick up a telephone and call the School Board. On the state level, we believe officials should have more important things to do than to debate who should or should not be married or how many angels fit on the head of pin. The same goes for our officials on the federal level. Their time debating marriage laws could, in our opinion, be better spent on the budget, on Social Security, and on the war. A fellow we know said today that his own marriage is not threatened by marriages of people with preferences different from his, so exactly what is the point?

For the community at large, we say calm down. This is not the end of the world. What is on television nightly may be. We doubt that this will be allowed to happen again at county schools. If it does, let us all get together and not allow the kids to participate in something we may find offensive. We urge all to recognize that people are different – some of us decline to get too excited about the growing uproar. Others, upon deep reflection, will, of course, be forgiving.

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