Saturday, April 21, 2007

Overly Dramatic Useless Gestures

[Posted by reader_iam]

All those fine minds at Yale University, and when faced with the tragedy at VA Tech and how to respond to it--because, of course, they must do something, anything, to prove that they're considering the issues seriously and taking immediate steps to address them--they decide to restrict the use of weapons in theatre 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.

According to students involved in the production, Trachtenberg has banned the use of some stage weapons in all of the University’s theatrical productions. While shows will be permitted to use obviously fake plastic weapons, students said, those that hoped to stage more realistic scenes of stage violence have had to make changes to their props.
“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] Holdren said, though she later agreed to permit the use of obviously fake weapons.
Berger also said he finds the ruling inconsistent because forms of stage violence that do not involve weapons — such as hangings — are still permitted.
Everyone feel safer now?

I'm not sure why Trachtenberg thinks infantalizing her university community and making Yale a laughingstock is supposed to combat violence and Make The World A Better Place. It's probably not worth asking her, since the incoherence of the decision and its implementation makes clear that she's one befuddled person. And the fact that she would seriously suggest that the production in question be staged without essential props--what, the actors were supposed to wave invisible weapons in the air, like 6-year-olds at play during recess?--brings her basic intelligence into question, and that of any other administrators involved.

Just what we need now: More hysterical thinking and overly theatrical responses, and from our supposedly elite Institutions Of Higher Learning.

What a joke.


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