Regarding Simon Donoghue's letter "Rep Disses Locals" (CL, May 8), I wish to correct a few of the author's misunderstandings and misrepresentations.
I'm pleased that the writer enjoyed Proof, directed by Steve Umberger. Steve's production constituted a cast of two great local actors and two great actors from New York City (including the lead). As a whole, Steve's final season as the Rep's artistic director featured 15 non-resident actors out of a total of 33 roles, or 45 percent. As we move into our 26th season, and a new era of professional theater in Charlotte, we are continuing this tradition of fusing two pools of professional theater artists -- local and national. The only difference is that, in certain cases, the visiting artists will bring with them prolific Broadway experience. We believe that our talented local professional artists will enjoy and benefit from working side-by-side with these visiting artists, as will the Rep's ever-growing audience. The new Rep administration is, and always will be, extremely interested in cultivating local talent.
Mr. Donoghue states that Steve Umberger "won't be directing for the Rep," which is false. In addition to his new projects, Steve will direct plays for the Rep on a freelance basis in future seasons, and will always be a valued part of the expanding Rep family.
Donoghue also states that the new Rep administration seems to have confused its mission with that of the Broadway Lights Series. This is a good opportunity for me to explain the difference. Broadway Lights, through the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, is a "presenting organization" that brings tours of professional productions, which have originated elsewhere, to Charlotte. The Rep is a "producing organization," creating professional productions of plays and musicals from the ground up, using impressive local and national talent. It is our mission to do so, and we are not confused on our mission. Professional theater now means "made in Charlotte." We are indebted to the numerous people who support our work, artistically and financially.
When the writer introduces the topic of public funding into his personal opinions about our casting, he makes a spurious connection. We are extremely grateful for the generous support we receive from the Arts and Science Council, without whom we would be unable to provide the Central Carolinas with professional theater of the highest caliber. The NC Blumenthal PAC also receives ASC funding in support of its programs.
I would like to personally welcome Mr. Donoghue to the Booth Playhouse next season, where he will witness gifted local and national artists, quality productions of engaging works of theater, and the artistic commitment of the new Rep administration.
Charlotte Repertory Theatre
Developing New Projects
To The Editors:
In response to "Rep disses locals" (Letters, May 8), I appreciate Mr. Donoghue's comments about my work and that of my colleagues over the years at Charlotte Rep. It is a rare and great gift to be part of such a wonderful family of talent for so long. And 25 years is a long time! I now feel that I've accomplished what I can at the Rep, and happily I also feel that Charlotte has grown large enough and diverse enough to not only support, but demand, different types of endeavors. So while some of my future work will be out of town, I am also excited about developing a few new projects here. I look forward to this new era for the Rep, and for all of us, as we move forward to create a richer, fuller artistic life in Charlotte.
BDSM Story On The Money
To The Editors:
I'm a 37-year-old man who has been active with D/s organizations for over seven years and been a semi-public speaker and workshop presenter on D/s issues and techniques for more than four of those years. The article "Bound and Determined" (by Elizabeth Chapel, May 8) has got to be the most accurate, realistic, well-researched and responsible piece on BDSM I've ever seen outside of the BDSM community itself. I didn't get a chance to read every single word due to my own schedule, however after reading the first three quarters of the article I had not encountered even a single error and was left impressed enough that I felt compelled to take a moment to submit this feedback!
Thanks for showing the rest of the world the "Lifestyle" in an accurate, realistic light rather than the immature "Beavis and Butthead" kind of slobbering, sophomoric light that is so often used when dealing with anything that is sexually unusual in today's society.
Again, thank you for getting it right!