Letters to the Editor

Art educates, challenges

The recent production of “How I Learned To Drive,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Paula Vogel, was superbly directed by Ron Clark and performed by a talented and dedicated cast of actors at SLO Little Theatre.

The subject matter — inappropriate sexual conduct within a family — was handled with sensitivity and, yes, some humor. Even Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies include humor, so the fact that the playwright did not expect us to endure 90 minutes of emotionally challenging material without some comic relief showed intelligence and understanding.

It was an evening of extraordinary theatre.

Apparently, some in the community complained because of the play’s sexual nature. I find this puzzling. Sure, some people don’t want to be challenged intellectually or emotionally at the theatre — and that is fine, they should stick to “Mary Poppins.”

But many of us believe art in all forms should educate and challenge, and it is unfair to deny us those opportunities by pressuring local theatres into restricting plays to material that a few patrons deem “appropriate.”

Surely SLO is mature enough to present plays that deal with life’s less glorious aspects.

We should not have to travel when we have the talent right here who are thrilled to perform in award-winning edgy plays. I choose which plays to attend by doing research ahead of time, and I stay home for those I don’t want to see.

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