Friday, April 11, 2008

To Bare or not to Bare, that is the question

By Bob Albertia

Tonight, April 11, 2008 is the opening night of Barksdale's production of THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED, a 2007 Broadway hit. Over the past few weeks, it has come to my attention that some of our patrons have commented that this play offends them to one degree or another, and they have chosen not to attend. We respect the opinions of all of our patrons and appreciate feedback on our production choices and presentations.

In view of recent comments, both pro and con, I, as an actor for fifty-plus years, would like to reflect on past Barksdale productions and their impact on the community. Over the years, Barksdale Theatre has a history of presenting edgy, provocative and caring theatre resulting in critically acclaimed productions dealing with alcoholism (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf), homosexuality (The Boys In The Band), nudity (Equus) to name a few, and all highly praised by the audience and critics alike.

In short, my reason for writing this post, is to point out that theatres are a place for storytelling and commentary, presenting us with a look at ourselves, the nation and the world. We go to museums and view paintings of war, death, love, destruction and nudity and are in awe of artists who have so brilliantly painted scenes on canvas or delicately carved statues out of a block of stone. Theatre too, from its simple beginnings of telling stories and entertaining us, is still a platform for letting each of us take a good look at our ourselves and the world around us. From the safety of our theatre seat, we can investigate the complex and emotional issues at the heart of a production like The Boys in the Band, Equus, or in this case, The Little Dog Laughed.

As a member of the theatre staff, I applaud Barksdale Theatre in continuing the legacy of Muriel McAuley and Pete and Nancy Kilgore in presenting the highest caliber of theatre in all of its forms; bold and brash comedy, on the edge drama and tap your toes and sing along musicals. I can't wait to see tonight's show and experience yet another opening night and share those feelings with both old and new friends alike.

- Bob Albertia

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