Author: Howard Sherman (page 1 of 2)

Staff Bites Board, at a Seattle Service Organization

According to an old aphorism, “dog bites man” is not big news, however “man bites dog” is something to report. Consequently, in the arts world, “board of directors fires staff” may be of interest, but it’s hardly novel. “Staff fires board of directors” is something else entirely, and that’s what’s playing out right now in […]

When A Censored Play Was Already In Violation of Copyright

The shutting down of a high school play at East Newton High School in Granby, Missouri last week may have set a new low in bad timing for such incidents. The show was not canceled after casting, during rehearsals, just prior to opening night or following the first performance. No, at East Newton the show […]

In Minnesota, Change Play’s Title Or Lose A Production?

If you happen to have been giving any thought to producing Langston Hughes’s 1935 play Mulatto at the Ames Center in Burnsville MN, save yourself some time and either move on to another play or another venue. Why? Because the Ames Center is uncomfortable with the word “mulatto,” and won’t approve it in the title of […]

At Princeton, A New Layer for “Hairspray”

Despite its origin in a 1988 film from John Waters, the underground master of camp, shock and transgression, the story of Tracy Turnblad, as told in multiple iterations, has become wholly mainstream. Thanks in large part to the 2002 stage musical version, Tracy’s story of leading an effort to integrate a local TV music program […]

Disrobing “The Foreigner” at a Minnesota High School

Context is everything. If you ask the average parent whether, in the abstract, they want to hear a student, any student, saying the n-word from the stage of their local high school auditorium, the answer (hopefully) would  be no. Put that word in its full context in the musical Ragtime, or in the plays of […]

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