Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's Missing

If you are one of those people that only checks out Style Weekly online, then the beginning of my preview on Henley Street’s “Lord of the Flies” may have you a little confused. That’s because the first couple of sentences of the piece did not get posted online for some reason. Here they are:

Many of the things that make William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” compelling on
the page make it a potential nightmare when bringing it to the stage. “You’ve
got murders, a dead parachutist, people falling off mountains,” explains
director Josh Chenard.

And if you’d like something light-hearted to get yourself through “hump day,” here’s a link to a just-posted collection of Shakespearean Light Bulb jokes, particularly suited to you theater geeks out there. I expect there are plenty out there in the Richmond blogosphere that could post their own worthy additions to this list.


Anonymous said...

Reaching the end of your feature on Henley Street's upcoming production of "Lord of the Flies," I couldn't help but be struck by the overt condescension of Artistic Director James Ricks' final statement. In what way, exactly, does Mr. Ricks imagine we need to be "retrained"? From the Henley Street productions I've seen, particularly those directed by Mr. Ricks, it is he that needs training. Please, spare us poor, uncultured Richmonders from yet another "superior outsider" come to elevate our simple minds. Get a clue, Mr. Ricks. Maybe it's that patronizing attitude of yours, coupled with a glaring lack of talent, that's keeping patrons out of your seats.

Jacquie O. said...

Hey Dave! Thank you so much for the wonderful feature this week. Our fly boys LOVED seeing themselves in the paper! I look forward to seeing you at the play sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Aren't we being just a tad thin skinned? James Ricks speaks with passion of his goals as an artistic director and you seem to be taking that as a personal affront. Having been to all of Henley Street Theatre's productions, I haven't found the seats empty. Pretty sure you don't win an RTCC "Best Play" award with a glaring lack of talent. Are we jealous much?

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous AKA "Theatre Patron", you are of course entitled to your opinion, but I merely suggest you choose not to use a public forum to attack someone "with your opinion".Perhaps you should just contact the person for clarity on a printed statement. Checking for the accuracy of the statement is recommended and totally acceptable, but questions about the meaning of the statement should be addressed to whomever said it. I am more than happy to share my opinions with you about you perceptions, and even offer my services in assisting you in getting in touch with Mr. Ricks, but I don't know who you are. Feel free to contact me. my email is

Jennifer Frank said...

Anonymous -

Do you really think the one true path to creating theatre in Richmond is SPARC to St. Who's to VCU to TIV on tour to a seat at the table? Do you have any idea how many members of the theatre community are from somewhere else? Diversity fosters creativity.

Are you suggesting Mr. Ricks is driving down housing prices, undermining patriotism, contributing to crime and overpopulation, and putting a burden on the tax system? These are some other wrongheaded assumptions about "outsiders" - but some politicians will happily argue against me - and proudly use their names.

I support Henley Street Theatre with my patronage and my wallet. They consistently select interesting and challenging material and more often than not pull it off in riveting fashion.

Stacey said...

Dear Anonymous #1,

While I can appreciate your obvious passion for this community and its theatre scene, the content and the tone of your comment are aggressively disrespectful.

First, if you read Dave’s article more closely, you may notice that there is an ellipsis before the comment you mention. "I think we've been able to set ourselves apart from the crowd; there's an opening for us ... to retrain Richmond audiences a bit." With respect to Dave, there is a good possibility that the necessary context for that statement is missing and that you are jumping to conclusions about the nature of Mr. Ricks’ statement.

Second, an ad hominem attack on Mr. Ricks’ training and talent on a public forum is wildly inappropriate. Dave, a self-professed theatre advocate, has created a place for respectful, productive discourse about the Richmond theatre community. In case you weren’t aware, your assertion that Mr. Ricks needs training is also completely inaccurate. James Ricks not only possesses an MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at The Shakespeare Theatre at George Washington University, one of the finest programs in the country, he’s also performed nationally and internationally, and has been in dozens of high profile commercials and industrials.

However, if you don’t appreciate his directing aesthetic, his mandate, or even his personality, I suggest that you choose not to attend his productions, rather than to slander him on and Dave’s blog.

Finally, your hasty generalization about “‘superior outsiders; come to elevate our simple minds” is both an unfair projection onto Mr. Ricks’ mandate AND reflects an unwise insularity about the Richmond community. Remember, theatre is in its nature a collaborative art form, one that should bring people together, to discuss with open hearts and minds what it is to be human, not to create more discord and division in our already complicated world.

Get a clue, anonymous. Direct your passion for theatre and for this community into productive action. Stop writing messages of hate and go make some theatre.


A lover of theatre (Henley Street and otherwise)