Goblin, while I grant I may be in desperate need of an editor, I just tried to hit on all the points I wanted to make- thanks for your patience in reading the entire post (You did, right?). Most importantly, however, I want you to know that I am not (nor have I ever been) a member of SET. In fact, I auditioned for "Desdemona" & wasn't cast- & I really wanted that part! So, for me to heap accolades on the actors & the production should tell you how good I thought it really was. I've never "written back" to a review piece but I'm just up to here with the modern reviewers take on the lost art (as I see it) of theater reviewing & the part they play in attendance, especially here in CS, so I thought I would speak out this time. I didn't see his piece as encouraging people to see "Desdemona"; the first line basically says:" Meh-- couldn't understand a frickin' word!" As for the "drama" of which you speak, seems you toss in a heavy dose yourself with your aggressive language! I would like you to point out any constructive criticism appearing in his review as well. SET & the cast, members, crew, etc had nothing to do with my response here. So, please don't make the same mistake the critic did & spread personal opinion as fact. NOW, I will shut the fuck up.
The disservice you do to this play, the potential audiences of this play & local theater in general is the result of a myopic reviewing style that I see all too frequently, especially in this neck of the woods. It almost seems as if published "critics" feel the need to name & exploit some fatal flaw in a production to be worth their salt as published "critics". Fine. You may have that if you think it paints you as insightful & frightfully discerning. But why, oh why must you all go on & on & reiterate, in several different ways & clever turns, how god awful this one thing is-- to the point that it drowns out any possible kudos you might toss out, or worse: devour any space necessary for their inclusion. Your readers end up with, not an overview of a potentially rewarding theater experience, but a clear & unrewarding understanding of your particular hang-up, obsession, lack of an ear for accents, & sense of gratitude that they don't have to struggle through all that; you have kindly done it for them. You see, no matter that you spoke in glowing terms of the superior quality of the writing, of the perfection of the set design, the exceeding talent of the actress you could easily understand (as she spoke in a flawless Julie Andrews British, why not?); no matter you praised the choice of material & professional treatment of same. At the end of the day you have said nothing except, "What did Eliza just say?" We are left with the conclusion that this is a worthy, possibly brilliant, play that has been lovingly produced by professionals & we won't understand enough dialogue to enjoy it. Sigh. I saw this production & I did miss a word here & there as is wont to happen in any live production but still managed to track the exposition like a Pawnee, somehow. I found all 3 actresses delightful, believable & understandable. Leah Jenkins IS exceedingly talented & inhabited Desdemona with daring, depth & humor. Kala Roquemore transformed Bianca from a common harlot into a three dimensional woman of heart & mind. Sarah Shaver embodied the salt of the earth as a woman trapped by caste & mores yet grasping for a bigger life. June Scott Barfield's set was the essence of time, place & ambience. Chris Vitale's costumes were beyond perfect. The lighting was the soul of restraint & enhancement. The direction by Beth Clements-Mosely was superlative! This is my opinion. That was my experience. Ms. Vogel's "Desdemona" was one of the most satisfying nights of theater I have enjoyed in recent memory & I strongly recommend the rest of you see it while you can.
The worst advice I ever got? Probably this: "The world is your oyster; your day will come!" I got that message early in life so I really incorporated it into my worldview. It's taken me what I fear is too long & a lifetime of passive assumption to understand that you should go for what you want, especially while you still have the goods to get it. Nobody- & I mean nobody- will ever hand you your dreams or advocate for your passion like you, yourself. The younger you know this truth, the better.
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