Author: Howard Sherman (page 1 of 9)

With Curricular Context Added, “Ragtime” to Play On in Cherry Hill

On January 20, the Cherry Hill Public School system in New Jersey announced their intent to censor racially charged language for their upcoming drama group’s production of the musical Ragtime at Cherry Hill High School East. The announcement prompted a vocal response from advocates on both sides of the issue: those who felt the language in […]

Cherry-Picking the Words of “Ragtime” in Cherry Hill

There is no question that there are racially charged words in the musical Ragtime, just as there were in the novel upon which it is based. In telling the story of black characters, of Jewish characters, of Irish characters at the turn of the 20th century, these words are integral to portraying the racism and bigotry […]

Seeking Equity In Theatre, Fighting Wrong With Wrong Won’t Go Right

Anyone claiming that there is equity or equality – by gender, by race and ethnicity, by disability – in the American theatre would have to be willfully ignoring the evidence. The Dramatists Guild’s The Count showed that only one in five plays produced in the U.S. is written by a woman. The annual survey of […]

In Oregon, Theatre and Bookstore Clash Over Free Speech & Racial Awareness

To be clear from the very start, two points. Judi Honoré, the owner of Shakespeare Books & Antiques in Ashland, Oregon, has every right to display anything she chooses in the window of, or for that matter anywhere in, her store. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, also located in Ashland, Oregon, has every right as an organization […]

Conflict and Conflict of Interest Over “The Great Comet”

In reporting on the dispute between Ars Nova and Howard Kagan, a lead producer of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, both The New York Times and the New York Post have seemingly reduced the dispute, at times, to three words or two words, respectively. They’re not wrong about this being triggered by “a mere three words” in […]

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