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By Andy Meyers
Artistic Director 

The Show Must Go On

 


Dear Patrons, Friends and Supporters of Fort Peck Summer Theatre,

I would like to apologize for not making an earlier announcement or disclaimer of the adult themes depicted in our current production of Cabaret. The title has been a frequently requested show, and I do think it is important to note that we did not choose to produce a new edgy musical for the sake of shock value. Cabaret is a classic Golden Age musical, which debuted over 50 years ago, winning multiple Oscars, Tonys and is one of only a handful of musicals to be considered for the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was my fault as artistic director for not releasing a mature content warning. It was my misinformed assumption that as a classic show of the American musical theatre cannon, audience members would know the content of the show, before they purchased tickets and planned to attend. Additionally, I eliminated the drug use, many curse words and onstage fornication that is prominent in the script, with the purpose of focusing on the true, historical events of social unrest and political change in 1930s Germany.

While I respect, value, appreciate and accept everyone’s views and personal opinions, when selecting a season it is impossible to pick five shows that appeal to everyone. While some audience members have been vocal and contacted us about their distaste for Cabaret during our opening weekend, we also have audience members, who much to my surprise, walked out of Man of LaMancha and Arsenic and Old Lace because they were ‘so dated and boring.’ And we also have a demographic of audience members who emailed us that they skip the “cheesy kid’s shows, like Shrek and Disney’s Mary Poppins and applaud us for including a wide variety of shows.

While reading some letters and audience complaints this morning, and seeking some advice on how to react, I was reminded by a friend of an incident from a few years ago. In the lobby on opening of night of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a patron yelled at me for the vulgar choice of including ‘working girls’ in the musical. She could not believe we had such a lack of taste, and was positive that subject was not included in the Dolly Parton movie version, which she claimed was one of her favorite films.

That being said, I again apologize to anyone who was offended by Cabaret this weekend. Moving forward for the run of our production, I encourage audiences to research the subject matter and themes of this timeless classic before attending, as it may not appeal to everyone. This musical may not be your cup of tea, but I will be disappointed if audience members are scared away based on the reactions of others. I am so proud of the hard work and tremendous heart that the entire company of designers, actors, musicians and supporters have poured into this important musical.

Respectfully,

Andy Meyers

Artistic Director

Fort Peck Summer Theatre

 

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