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After several weeks of work we are finally up and running!  In spite of the snowstorm yesterday we opened tonight with no problems.  Tomorrow’s performance has been cancelled due to the impending snow/ice storm expected tomorrow afternoon – I can’t remember ever getting this much snow and ice this early in the winter.

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We have started work on the Ruby Sunrise at CCHS.  Here is a picture of the barn unit partially finished.  The siding is actually individual lauan plywood strips painted and then attached.  The prices of materials have really risen since even the summer.   Lauan is now $14.50 a sheet and is projected to go over $15 by Christmas!

Ruby will progress more later this week as we begin painting and details on the kitchen, café, and office as well as the proscenium pieces.

Summer is Almost Over….

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With the end of September in sight my skiing days are almost finished for the year and the theatrical season is about to get into full swing.  This year promises to be a challenging and exciting one with lots of new shows in the works at several different venues.  Campbell County HS opens “The Ruby Sunrise” in early November and closes it’s season with “Beauty and the Beast”, KRT is doing “It’s a Wonderful Life, the Musical”, Ryle HS is doing “Bang, Bang, You’re Dead” and I just finished the Williamstown City Marigold Day festival this past weekend.

We have had a wonderful summer and it seems no matter what happens it doesn’t seem long enough but it now seems like an eternity since we finished striking “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at KRT.  We have only a couple weeks until we will be headlong into 2 shows at the same time.  “Ruby” at CCHS and “BBYD” at Ryle followed closely by “Wonderful Life” at KRT.  This should be a busy fall and winter season for us.

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Here were a couple of pics from the Marigold Day festival here in Williamstown.  We handled the sound system for the main stage and worked with 2 different bands.  We also handled the sound for the city’s Ice Cream Social held on the Friday night before Marigold Day.

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There are only 4 performances left of Kincaid’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. You really shouldn’t miss this exciting and entertaining show. Tickets are available for all remaining performances at http://www.krtshows.com – Hurry and get yours before you miss this opportunity.

After the startling revelation that apparently placing a Styrofoam replica of the Holy Bible in a display for a biblically based show, was a violation of separation of church and state I have been thinking….

Is a theatre group that receives partial funding from the state or NEA a ‘state’ organization?

How does a bible replica constitute an endorsement of a particular religion especially if inherently the show is bible based and actually cites chapter references in the script?

Why is it seemingly acceptable to place a desecrated religious icon in a government supported event but just the religious icon itself it offensive?

I have been reminded of the Robert Mapplethorpe controversy of 20+ years ago here in Cincinnati. The basis of the controversy was really several images of nude children as well as other nude photos BUT also included was a picture of a crucifix in a jar of urine entitled “Christ Pissed”. After a court battle it was determined that the exhibit was allowed after all and that no decency laws were violated but some questions still remain…..

If the same images from the exhibit (that were deemed non pornographic) were found on a persons present day computer hard drive, would they be arrested and charged with child pornography? My thought is probably they would be arrested and charged HOWEVER, if they posted them in an art exhibit at a local museum it would be acceptable.

If a simple crucifix was displayed in an exhibit funded by the government someone would charge ‘separation of church and state’ and demand the offending object be immediately removed BUT if you then took the same crucifix and placed it in a bowl of excrement it would now be an acceptable ‘work of art’.

I am a believer in freedom of speech and the right of folks to create artwork and display such works HOWEVER… I still don’t understand why MY tax dollars were used to support an artist that desecrated anyone’s religious icon. Once again common sense should have prevailed but did not. How anyone could look at pictures of nude children and think it is acceptable simply because someone called it ‘art’ is beyond me regardless of government support AND how could the government support crime?

More questions….

If a set designer chose to use a religious icon such as a bible in a set would it be deemed ok if that same set designer were also an atheist? In other words the reason for the ‘offensive’ icon would have absolutely no hidden agenda. My guess is that this would be entirely acceptable. If however the set designer was not an atheist but a born again Christian, there must be a hidden agenda and therefore it must be removed because it is offensive. Would this not constitute discrimination based upon the religious beliefs of the folks involved?

This thought in our present day society that our religious beliefs must be kept separate from our secular lives is crazy and really impossible. The biblical book of James says that “faith without works is dead”. I don’t think this means ‘churchy’ works of faith but allowing our faith to govern our everyday lives and decisions. The problem of this ‘double life’ idea is it really does an injustice to both our faith and secular lives. That being said I also don’t believe in cramming your belief system down the throat of another person. If simply living life as a Christian, Jew, or whatever is offensive to someone else perhaps we have all gotten a bit to over sensitive?

In one final note; nowhere in the constitution of the United States is found the phrase “separation of Church and State”. The phrase actually came from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist group concerned about government influence in their church. The constitution states that “congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or prevent the free exercise thereof”. How we get that from that statement that a bible placed in a theatrical display is establishing a religion I guess I will never understand.

WARNING! The following post contains absolutely nothing about theatrical design or production and may contain comments deemed ‘too offensive’ for some. If you think there may be a chance that you could possibly be offended perhaps you should leave this blog now and seek professional assistance.

“Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”
is to believed to have been said by Rosa Parks (Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (1913 – 2005, African American civil rights activist)

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
-Martin Niemöller

In our present age and obsession with a sanitary completely un-offensive society, we should stop and ask ourselves – “how much are we willing to back up to satisfy someone else?” And, “just who is right and who is maybe not wrong but maybe just over sensitive?” As I have gotten older I am more and more convinced that there are more and more folks just looking for something to be offended or upset about – usually things that most folks would either just walk by or not even give a second chance. In other words why would a simple item or symbol that used to be considered commonplace by most folks now have to be removed as to not cause offense?

In my life there are many things that offend or upset me as well as lots of things I don’t agree with or support either politically or otherwise and my response is usually simple – just leave well enough alone. Just because I don’t like something or think its right I don’t feel that it is my place to force someone else to change it – I just deal with it and move on. Some folks now-a-days just haven’t figured this out. They seem to look for things to make issue with and others are just so afraid of being caught in the crossfire they retreat rather than allow common sense to prevail. The tables have so been turned that what used to be the normal in society is now under attack as closed-minded and offensive.

If we continue to retreat from anything controversial or possibly offensive eventually we will all end up sitting in an empty white room staring at the wall as that is the only way to escape the PC movement!

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After weeks of planning, designing, rehearsal, construction, and lighting work, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opens TONIGHT! The entire team has done an outstanding job on this show and we are thrilled to have been a part of it all. This is a great example of summer stock theatre in a very challenging theatre space, directed and performed with outstanding excellence.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” runs at Kincaid Regional Theatre in Falmouth, Kentucky from July 6th thru July 27. Tickets are now available online at http://www.krtshows.com – get yours before this show sells out. I foresee the last week of the run being packed out!

Break-a-Leg to the cast and crew of this outstanding show!

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