Letter: Did Arts Alive! story need to be front page news?

To the editor:

Shame on the Barrington Times for taking the negative opinion of ONE parent regarding the Hampden Meadows Arts Alive! play and making it front page news. Mr. Crosby had FIFTEEN weeks to remove his child/children from participating in the play if he had objections to the material. As a parent whose daughter participated and who attended all three performances, I found all the scenes age appropriate and in good taste.  An afternoon of Nickelodeon has more suggestive language and behavior. That play was an opportunity for every kid on that stage to shine — no matter what their level of talent. No one from Arts Alive! needs to take one minute to defend themselves. Last I knew, this was America and Mr. Crosby certainly could have exercised his rights and remove his kid(s) from the play.

Mary DeWitt 

Barrington

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2 Comments

  1. publiusrex said:

    This letter is excellent. It clearly articulates the salient points of this tempest in a teapot, one of which is that this news, isn’t news. Kudos, Ms. DeWitt for your thoughtful letter, which is filled with excellent examples and cogent comparisons: an afternoon of Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, or Nickelodeon is indeed filled with more risque references than an intelligently directed musical by Dena Davis and Kim Durkin.

  2. Pete Bilderback said:

    Mary, thank you so much for speaking up. As a parent I am very conscientious about the kind of entertainment I allow my children to be exposed to. We don’t even subscribe to cable in large part because so much of what I see on children’s cable networks like Nickelodeon, Disney, etc. seems like it would be a negative influence. I understand I can’t shelter my children from everything bad in the world, but I also take seriously my duty as a parent to make sure they are not being bombarded by negative stereotypes, bad attitudes and sexually oriented storylines they are not ready for.

    With that said, I found nothing remotely objectionable in Broadway Rules! I reviewed the script, helped my son memorize his lines, and attended rehearsals. If at any point I saw something that gave me pause I would have brought those concerns to the Arts Alive! staff, and I have no doubt they would have been responsive.

    My family also attended two other Arts Alive! productions this year; Once Upon A Mattress and Flat Stanley Jr. In past years we attended Bugsy Malone Jr., Hot Lunch, and How To Eat Like Child. All the productions were perfectly wholesome entertainment, and I never had any second thoughts about bringing my six-year-old daughter to see them. (I should point out that the version of Once Upon A Mattress performed by the Middle School was modified to be fully appropriate for young children and is performed at many other Middle Schools around the country.) Also, all the plays were fantastic and entertaining, the hard work that went into them was visible on the stage.

    Even as a parent who is fairly conservative about the types of entertainment I allow my children access to I can heartily recommend Arts Alive!’s plays to any parent who is concerned that today’s children’s entertainment is too much for our kids.

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