Evening of culture turned sour

Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2011

I feel compelled to write about my experience last night while taking my family to the Fairbanks Shakespeare Company production of 12th Night. I have always wanted to expose my family to more cultural experiences and I thought this free performance was a wonderful opportunity to do just that. I assumed that since the show was being performed for children all across our state that the content would be family friendly and enlightening.

I cannot tell you how enlightened I felt as the performance played out. Almost every scene was full of sexual innuendo, grasping of genitals, crotch shots, an obvious sexual encounter and continual lude, crude actions. I was stunned. While I know that Shakespeare's plays are not always scenes of innocence, I never expected the crass portrayal before me and I was appalled to realize that this was being shown to children of all ages, many whose parents will have no idea what their children witnessed.

I felt like I was a character in one of my favorite childhood tales, "The Emporer's New Clothes," as I smiled and clapped politely. Was I the only one to notice that the content of the play was vulgar and offensive for family entertainment?

I was especially disgusted to learn that the show was funded by our tax dollars. Isn't it ironic that while our government scratches its' head wondering what can be done about teen pregnancy and sexuality that is starting at an ever increasing young age, it still sees fit to give millions of dollars each year to productions such as these who in the name of art, subject our kids to filth. Is this what being cultured is all about? Must we expose our children to vulgarity in the name of enlightenment? If so, then I am perfectly happy to have my family remain backwards and unrefined where standards of morality and decency trump culture and art.

Marlene Meyer, Sterling

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