It's time for us to wake up. The mere fact that Ms. Hallett has an opinion about a show that she saw and that it differs from yours, and that it automatically means that she has no idea what she is talking about, shows the complete ignorance of this community.
The problem with this town is we think that our shit doesn't stink. We love everything that we do, which leaves us no room to grow and actually thrive as an artistic community. I've been doing theater in this town for the past 7 years, and a majority of what we do is blow smoke up peoples asses. I appreciate Allison, because she shares her opinion, that's it, that's all, nothing more.
You have an opinion too, and what I would love to know, is in your opinion, what makes an actual theater reviewer? What does that look like? If it's not Allison, then who in this town is an actual theater reviewer? Because all I ever see in reviews in this town are not actually reviews, but book reports. This towns' publications do an outstanding job of giving me the synopsis of every show that they see, but nothing more. I've never read one solid opinion from anyone other than Allison and Benjamin Waterhouse. We are so afraid of negative reviews it's astounding. How do we expect to grow as a community and create more challenging work if all we ever expect everyone to say is how lovely everything is?
What I would love to do is to challenge this community to start expecting more from each other. If we don't like something we see, it's okay to say something about it. We don't have to hide from it and sugar coat it. We don't have to bully the people who do say that they didn't like something. It's okay for us to create a discussion and a discussion can only be made if you have two oposing views and that both parties are willing to hear each other and then find the meaning and value in the other person's thoughts and ideas. Look, it's okay for us to get better, to be stronger, to have to swallow our medicine from time to time, it's how we can not only thrive as a nation but as a community. Our goal on any artistic level is to provide truth, be it onstage, in an art gallery or in a song. We call out the actor who is not genuine. We dismiss the singer who does not sing from the heart. We close the book that provides us with false information. Yet when we experience truth in the real world, we run away from it. We hide and say it's not truth, but lies, it's not correct, it's absolutely wrong. Well that's bullshit. If we expect it from one, we have to expect it from the other, and be okay with it.
I think it's time that we all come to the realization that not everything we put onstage, or in an art piece, or in a movie theater or at a book reading or a song that a band plays in this town is golden. It's time to accept the fact, that we have some work to do in order to get to the place where we already think we are. We all need to put more heart, and passion into the things we are doing in order to deserve the praise that we are so quickly ready to give ourselves and expect.
Casey Alan McFeron
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