Friday, March 17, 2006

The Play's the Thing

I ran across an article on censorship (self and otherwise) of high school plays. (The highlight for me in the article is the school which dropped "The Crucible" (essentially about McCarthyism) and decided to produce "A Misummer Night's Dream" (about fairies and partner-swapping). Pure hilarity.)

It made me remember a trip I took in high school with our own theatre students. I wasn't in drama myself (yeah, I know, but I'm not always a stereotype), but the group was going to University Interscholastic League conference I was attending for a different reason, so I rode with them. The drama teacher and the students talked most of the way about different plays the students had been reading. Most of the conversation for about an hour trip out and an hour trip back followed a template like this:

Student: Have you read (*play*) by (*author*)?

Teacher: Yes--that's an amazing play. It... (*discussion follows*)

Student: Could we do that one?

Teacher: No, we wouldn't be able to do that here, it... (*insert reason for controversy*)

Lather, rinse, repeat...

It struck me as both sad and instructive at the time. Still does.

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