Author: Howard Sherman (page 2 of 3)

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 […]

Two High School Shows That Couldn’t Be Saved

When incidences of high school theatre censorship arise, the point at which they occur, and when that breaks out beyond school walls, can be central to efforts to reverse the decision. At other times, one finds webpages like the one above, from Danville Area High School in Pennsylvania in late January. The recent debate in […]

Winston Churchill’s Famous Arts Quote Is, Alas, Bogus

Even if you’ve never read the quote, you’ve no doubt seen the meme, in all of its arts-affirming, damn the torpedoes glory. Just one small detail: it isn’t true. I am referring to the story that goes as follows, and here I’ll quote an op-ed piece from TheHill.com, dated February 19, 2017: At the height of […]

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