It is not often that I feel the need to respond to letters published in the Empire. I consider that everyone has a right to an opinion, and that diversity is the spice of life in our capital city.
I must, however, take exception when I feel that someone has acted in an irresponsible manner and caused damage. I am referring to the letter published in Tuesday's paper regarding Perseverance Theatre and it's production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night."
First of all, the letter referred to the possibility that there might be something inappropriate about the production. I want to point out that we had had no audiences, as the play opened on Friday and that the author of that letter had not seen the production at all. I even question whether they have read the play, one of the most commonly performed plays by high school drama departments.
Perseverance Theatre has been a part of my life since I came to Juneau in 1985. It is made up of people from within the community like myself that hold down full time jobs in other sectors. I have performed over 30 plays at Perseverance Theatre in the last 20 years and have been with the Juneau School District for as many. There have been many occasions when, after seeing a production, the public has responded with mixed reviews.
This is the first time that I can remember when someone responded with a letter to the editor before they had even viewed the play. How responsible is that?
As a performer in this production, I play the character of Malvolio. This Shakespearean bad guy is so full of himself and his puritanical view of the world that he convinces himself that he is loved by Olivia, the lady he serves. Through the course of the play we see his hypocrisy revealed. Am I the only one that sees the irony here?
My wife plans on bringing our 6-year-old daughter to the play and I have recommended it to my fifth-grade students as an appropriate production. I do this with a high degree of discrimination.
So come on all you theater goers and Shakespeare lovers. The play opens this weekend. Come see this gift so many of your community members have labored to bring you.