Friday, April 20, 2007

A serious theatre program at Yale? Not so much

When I graduated with my BA from the Northeastern theatre program in the early 80's, Yale's graduate theatre program was considered to be one of the best. We were very proud that out of our little department (20 something graduates, including all of the disciplines - acting, tech, stage management, design and directing) we sent two people on to Yale, one for directing and one for lighting design.

Now there is this. (Via HotAir.)

"In the wake of Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech in which a student killed 32 people, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg has limited the use of stage weapons in theatrical productions.

"Students involved in this weekend’s production of “Red Noses” said they first learned of the new rules on Thursday morning, the same day the show was slated to open. They were subsequently forced to alter many of the scenes by swapping more realistic-looking stage swords for wooden ones, a change that many students said was neither a necessary nor a useful response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech.


" 'Red Noses' director Sarah Holdren ’08 said she first heard about the changes in a phone call from a friend as she arrived at the Off-Broadway Theater on Thursday morning. At the theater, technical director Jim Brewczynski told her about the new regulations. The pair then met with Trachtenberg, who initially wanted no stage weapons to be used in the show,
(emphasis added,ed.) Holdren said, though she later agreed to permit the use of obviously fake weapons.


"Brandon Berger ’10, who plays a swordsman in the show, said the switch to an obviously fake wooden sword has changed the nature of his part from an 'evil, errant knight to a petulant child.' "

Director Holden's money quote, "Here at Yale, sensitivity and political correctness have become censorship in this time of vital need for serious artistic expression.”

You know that PC has destroyed the serious of the Universities when a member of the Humanities is calling it out.

And I have to disagree with young Mr. Berger, the 'petulant child' is not his stage character, it's Dean Trachtenberg. And as for evil, where does this coddling nannyism lead but to this, the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes, so goes the erosion of physical self-defense.

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