Archives for category: Diversity

The Fairy Princess has been looking at this country’s new Regime (YES, SHE SAID REGIME) with angst. After which she has to instantly freebase some Randy Rainbow to keep sane.

As many know, TFP is a theater professional – who has ideas – and much of the new year has been taken up with panel discussions that has expanded upon those ideas.

In January, she spoke on a panel at the Musical Theater Educators at New York University on Diversity at the invitation of Prof. Kikau Alvaro from Virginia Commonwealth University. Thanks Kikau!

She felt many of the crowd were ‘up in arms’ at some of the issues raised… but still, she persisted.

Jujubee-library-reading-to-filth

To sum up what TFP believes about, for example, putting a Performer in a role say, as Christmas Eve from AVENUE Q, and then not having them be Asian/American…

tumblr_o5iduaaKX21ub9o82o2_500

What is taught when this occurs?

What is being taught is that ethnic identity and culture is something to be acknowledged only when Caucasians say they will acknowledge it. It teaches a basic disrespect for Performers of Minority Status.

This plays into the cultural disrespect that permeates this country that has currently boiled over to such a point where we have elected a man who TFP refers to as Comb-over Twitler, and if you, as a theater educator, are ‘indulging’ in the erasure of people of minority status from the Arts – YOU are part of the problem.

Be the solution.

nCI4NxR

BroadwayCon had it’s first Asian American Panel called “Someone In A Tree“, to discuss representation on Broadway of Asian/Americans – and those on the panel were – B.D. Wong, Amy Hill, Manu Narayan, Kelvin Moon Loh and TFP

Here is what Playbill.com had to say:

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-4-03-06-pm

TFP thanks her panelists for their time and energy – these discussions are lively and fun, and need to keep happening. She knows, at times, they can be a drag…but there were BroadwayCon attendees who came up with tears in their eyes after, just from being able to see people they could relate to, talk about a life in the Arts.

Thanks too to the amazing BroadwayCon staff, who are so supportive of inclusion. BroadwayCon makes these panels a priority, giving them a forum when many in our business make a practice of ignoring them – and so, Bravo on a great second BroadwayCon – honored to be included.

Cat-High-Five

TFP then traveled to Princeton University to speak on a panel with Composer Robert Lee and Playwright, Lloyd Suh at their first Asian American Theater Symposium.

giphy-14

The day was presented by Princeton’s newly formed East West Theater Company, who also mounted a production of Lloyd Suh’s Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, ably directed by Peter Kim. Mr. Kim was in the original Off-Broadway production of the show, and is a dynamic and talented Actor/Writer/Director in New York City.

Earlier panels included a discussion with Professor Christine Mok, University of Cinncinnati and Professor Brian Herrera, 0f Princeton University.

TFP learned quite a lot, and she has to thank Professors Mok and Herrera for having a frank discussion called “The Privileged Conversation’.  One of those points IN their discussion, was Prof. Mok’s preference for writing Asian/American with the slash in between Asian and American. There is a long reasoning behind it, but in a nutshell, / let’s the term be both fluid and encompassing.

TFP is for it!

tumblr_nwgd2uqHwK1sg6teeo4_500

This new East West Theater Company was founded by current Princeton senior, Kathy Zhao, in response to being cast the previous year in a role based on stereotype – and if this is how Ms. Zhao responds to being challenged, all TFP can say is, the future of Asian/American theater looks promising.

MTI5NTQ5MTE5NzU1NzAwMjM0

Then she turned on the Interweb and read the response of Jack Viertel of ENCORES!to their New York Times Review by Laura Collins-Hughes.

landscape-1486888326-giphy-58

She thought the Times response was valid, but she wanted to add a few thoughts while she was fresh off all these panels…just some thoughts.

hillary_temples2c

First of all, the idea that the press should buckle to the whims of a president, er, producer is ludicrous.

The press and producers have a symbiotic relationship – Producers need to sell tickets, and Critics need shows to review. Everyone knows this. However to insist that the presenting the story of Big River should be devoid of comment about the current state of racial dynamics in the United States, even while it is being presented during Black History Month,

58251898b6b8b5f4471580313c43e76a

is a far reach.

The character of Jim, who is an escaped slave cannot just be seen through the viewpoint of Mark Twain writing way back in the day, that is impossible given the internet and our current crisis that brought about the Black Lives Matter movement.

To be frank, Mark Twain would not have wanted that.

635447537245594461_marktwain05

He wrote the story of Tom Sawyer because he was opposed to people OWNING other people – and his setting of the issue to be seen through the eyes of a young white boy was because he wanted things to change. He also wanted his readers to but ‘gulled’ into reading what they would think is a ‘charming story of a young boy and his misadventures‘ and wind up with a damning indictment of white privilege.

Mr. Viertel’s response was painful to read for those who value the free press (didn’t the free press just strike a palpable hit against former Government employee, Mike Flynn?  Andrew Puzder?) and for those who are may also be one of the aforementioned minorities upon which those panels on diversity in which TFP participated, was based.

But the shock of reading her stunningly polarized, politicized, narrow-minded and unfailingly myopic notions about Mark Twain, Big River itself and the place of racial and gender diversity in American letters and the American theater is something I can only picture seeing in some crackpot journal put together by college undergraduates in the late ‘60s.

Mark Twain does not go in and out of style. Whatever one thinks of the specific success or failure of Big River’s efforts to translate The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to the stage, it is faithful to Twain. I’m stunned to read, for instance, that Ms. Collins-Hughes is upset about the character of Jim being the only important black character in the piece. That’s true. It’s true of Twain’s novel, but it’s worth noting that Jim is, in fact, the most important black character in all of American literature of the 19th and early 20th century. Isn’t that enough?

f6f39236975c4b33a13b56a888eedb0c

No, Mr. Viertel – it’s not enough. You do not get to be the decider of when and where racial and gender diversity is appropriate. This may be hard for you to fathom.

d82fdcdce60e16d6b8e489dede247881

TFP ‘gets it’, America voted in Comb-over Twitler and some people are like, whew!

Back on top!

What a relief!

‘They’ were getting so close!

Even in the theater.

4e36122e135026344116709baa099a41

Just because your wheelhouse is musicals of the past, which often do not deal with race as a construct (except Oscar Hammerstein shows of course) – we, the audience, cannot ignore where America is now.

For Old Man Encores to yell about a good review is a sign of nothing but panic at the thought of having to be concerned with social responsibility.

It is a cautionary tale for those who believe that all Artists live in a liberal bubble.

Still, it is surprising that a man in his position decided to ‘pop off’ the way he did.

history-get-off-my-lawn

Inclusion does not come easy – we see this all over the world, for example in England with The Print Room yellow face debacle.

Look at the photo here, which shows a patron yelling at British East Asians over protesting a play set in China, where the characters are to be Chinese, and not having any British East Asians in the cast. One of the remarks made by him had to do with the British East Asians not understanding theater.

c25phq-uaaalgle

TFP is pretty sure they ‘understand’ theater.

large

What they, the British East Asian Artists understand, and what was also discussed this past weekend at Princeton, is that – just by being on the stage as a minority, you become a political act.

You are demanding that people turn off all the lights and sit together, almost breathe as one, to look at you and the story you are telling – your face, your history tells a story. They must acknowledge you. They must see you as a person, as an Artist, as a human.

The truth though, about political acts is that many times, they are ignored because the people for whom they are intended prefer to ignore them. Political acts are not convenient for a lot of people – upsets the apple cart.

Which is why, often when minorities demand more space on stage, or on screen, or to tell their own stories, we are shown ‘the one’ as an example for why we should be satisfied. In fact, they get all ‘alternative facts’ nutso if you try and explain things like population percentages in regards to the setting of the show, the professions shown – demographics make some people very uncomfortable.

But you have (insert noted minority talent) – you can’t say there aren’t any!”

tumblr_mbxraqrUXD1qcga5ro1_500

Actually what we can say is that the parts given to minorities again and again, do not – in any way, ‘reflect the American scene’ – our numbers are low, and often it seems, our cultures are up for grabs at the whim of those with more power.

Oh, by the by – could someone explain intersectional feminism to Scarlett Johannson?

She might be a few college credits shy of being able to understand that a white woman replacing an Asian woman in a film set in Japan,  about a Japanese Major is NOT feminism.

scarlett-johansson-ghost-in-the-shell

It is something else…begins with an r….

Nah, she will never get it, because she does not want to. It is not ‘convenient’ for her, or Matt Damon, or Tilda Swinton, or Emma Stone to believe they are in a direct line of descent from Mickey Rooney.

image14

Personally, TFP thinks that any major film actor or actress who agrees to be in a whitewashed/yellowfaced role should go into a closed cage match with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and explain it all to him, in depth.

kung_pow_bitch_the_rock_wwe

But then…TFP gets testy.

Honestly, this is a F**KING exhausting because it seems like it is truly getting worse.

Look in March’s VOGUE Magazine, which FULL ON indulges in yellow face, (Angry Asian Man) but expects us to ignore it because they put a Sumo wrestler in there!

Because – Fashion Art.

Racism is pervasive – and “Artists‘ hide their innate disregard for People of Color every. damn. day. under the ‘premise‘ of Art.

(That is Karli Kloss, for those of you wondering – photographed by Mikael Jansson for Vogue.Yes, she has already apologized)

They ‘cannot’ tell us apart, nor do they even try – Dev Patel is Riz Ahmed!

1486992804658

Just messing with you, that is Riz on the left!

Misidentified by Burberry, perhaps the whitest brand in the world – who just happened to have DRESSED Mr. Patel for that award show!

awkward-gif

Jeannie Mai (from THE REAL) is confused with Brenda Song (from THE SUITE LIFE)!

b8pjwn0ciamm4ny

By the by – that last one, misidentified by Ms. Mai’s OWN network, TV One!

To add insult to injury, Jeannie Mai was with her fellow Cast Mates at the NAACP Awards!

tumblr_nr04rmmffm1uouojzo1_250

Artists of course, like and embrace People of Color, they will tell you that a million times – but the ‘rarefied air’ is allowed to be shared only upon occasion, and only with permission.

Of course, once ‘called’ to the carpet (the Red Carpet in these instances), they are quick enough to apologize for being unable or unwilling to tell us apart,  but People of Color are only ‘allowed’ to exist in that world when and where Caucasians say so, because…ART.

TFP finds that frustrating.

TEEN VOGUE better go have a ‘talk’ with Big Sister VOGUE, is all TFP is sayin….

images-5

It was, of course, much ‘easier’ in the past to ignore sticky subjects like inclusion in theater and how people will view the show through the ‘matters of the day – because ‘such things’ were not discussed. Theatrical Producers of a certain age were raised in that tradition and they do not like to be questioned. They liked things as they were – and of course they would, for them, it was a nice world to live in.

However the rest of us no longer live in the world where men of a certain age, education and privilege are allowed to reign unchecked.

9588a05cc73a19118225c32632ca3e16

 Good reviewers can separate performances from issues that are on the greater spectrum – which Ms. Collins-Hughes did, in TFP’s opinion. She gave the performers pretty much a rave, but she pointed out that choosing a show like this, at this time, is an odd choice, and that while Jim is a main character at first glance, he is not fully developed.

This is a critic who went and viewed the original Broadway production to put her points in context – it is, actually, an innately responsible journalistic approach to theater, and frankly – it’s refreshing.

Theater reviewing sometimes devolves into a cult of personality, rather than impartial viewing of a production on it’s own merits.

It is also telling that this is a Female Critic – and so there comes the additional debate of – if it was a MALE Critic who wrote this SAME thing, word for word –

WOULD YOU HAVE COME FOR HIM, MR. VIRTEL?

5a352a0ba304360c26c8654b03591ff6

Now, ENCORES Concert Series has been around since 1994 – and their ‘thing’ is to present American musicals of ‘the past’, sans too much scenery, for those who are avid musical theater fans. Some of those shows have, of course, gone back to Broadway because of the impact of the ENCORES presentation – for example, CHICAGO.

(Just an aside: CHICAGO as it exists now in the world and on Broadway, regularly uses Performers of Colors in lead roles – and that is a credit to the Producers and the staff that maintains this long running show)

LtS__t

This is all well and good. It also should be applauded because American musical theater is rich with shows that have faded from general public memory.

However “the past’ of American Musical Theater history is mainly Caucasian.

tumblr_inline_o08mz4jkOL1rr5si2_500

ENCORES does cast some performers of minority status – for example, last year they tried with a “Hamilton‘ style casting with their ‘1776’ – however in general they do not seem to embrace inclusion or diversity with any regularity in lead roles. In fact, they have not done many musicals that explore stories that have race as part of the setting of the show.

Out of the shows they have done – St. Louis Woman, Hair, Golden Boy, House of Flowers, Purlie, It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s Superman, Kismet, and The Wiz – only “Superman’ & Kismet have Asian roles written in the show.

In Superman, they are the evil “Flying Lings‘.

Kismet is set in fictional Baghdad during mythic Arabian Nights times. 

One hesitates to think what Mr. Virtual would think is appropriate for Asian History Month given his choice for the month of February! 

b775b1c0-a753-0133-988e-0a6c20e5e327-1

TFP saw their “Wild Party”, yes, that had some diversity, however that reflected the original casting of that show.

Then of course, they ‘added on’ to their ‘shows that have minorities’ tally this season with Big River.

So while ENCORES does employ Performers of Color, it certainly does not seem a mandate of theirs to be inclusive. They are very happy with their status quo – and while it’s not awesome and amazing…it is worth pointing out that they still do way better than The Roundabout.

shade_gif

What she is saying is, ENCORES could do better. Broadway could do better too.

TFP appreciates that Mr. Virtel tried to ‘clap back’ to a review.

tumblr_inline_mfi6c2g1il1r7ppx5

She realizes he was backed by many theater lovers (Including Frank Rich)  online who find being conscious of today’s society ‘exhausting’ and would really like minorities to take a nicely subservient role and exist to serve only adjunct parts where they ‘should’ be – that is not going to happen.

Theater and politics have always co-existed, and this will never change.

We saw it with HAMILTON‘s ‘noble call‘ to VP Elect Pence.

161119000804-hamilton-mike-pence-november-19-super-tease

We saw it with NYGASP’s updated production of “THE MIKADO”

mikado2

In fact to quote HAMILTONHistory is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world, the greatest city in the world. Look around.”

Yes, Mr. Viertel – LOOK AROUND!

tumblr_lqm8i1R55k1qaxxvao1_500

You can do BOTH – you can be a ‘woke’ Producer AND still love period musicals.

tumblr_n1eqnyk4p51r2tuixo1_400

As Oscar Hammerstein wrote “Impossible things are happening every day.”

Here in New York City – our critics SHOULD do the work, and they SHOULD put their reviews in the context of the time, absolutely.

mmn5mbijoic0-1

Maybe if Mr. Viertel took a nap, he would be able to see that her input in the context of this musical with her review, both prepares a modern audience and gives them the ability to figure out what may ‘bother’ them about it – it does not negate performances nor their wanting to see it.

The point is, just because styles are changing and one is bearing witness to it does not mean that there is not room for everyone.

The point is, just because something is not the same as when you first started in entertainment, does not mean it is wrong.

The point is, diversity equals dollars – and dollars keep musicals afloat.

make-it-rain

IN SHORT – GOOD JOB MS. COLLINS – HUGHES!!!

tumblr_m72rqfCLBL1qih9gi

Long Live a FREE PRESS!!!!!!

For trying to ‘shame’ a female theatrical critic on the basis of “Because the White Theater Gods Say So’….

TFP fines Old Man Encores a thousand theatrical listenings, each -of LEGS DIAMOND and CARRIE, the musicals!

Oh yeah, TFP knows a few old musicals too…

giphy-2

TFP out!

The Fairy Princess went to see the ‘new’ Re-imagined Mikado.

As she told the Michael Cooper from New York Times, she was ‘cautiously optimistic’.

shade_gif

Yes, on New Year’s Eve, she girded her loins, took her six foot Korean American husband in hand, and dived into the re-invention of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Mikado”, as performed by New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, which is in it’s 43rd year.

seriously__by_keni8149-d528i5d

This new production, which is double cast – was directed and choreographed by David Auxier and Assistant Directed by Kelvin Moon Loh. The scenic design was by Anshuman Bhatia, with costume design by  Quinto Ott.

TFP does not usually ‘review’ shows per se, and this is not a review – but having ‘ahem’, helped NYGASP come to the conclusion that their past productions needed revision with this blog, she wants those who read this follow up, to understand why this production worked and why Asian Americans should go and see this show which lasts until January 8, 2017.

Also to express to Asian Americans that yes, they CAN bring their children to this particular production, and feel at ease.

f446e9a2-6485-4043-80fd-dbabfa2d3909

Here’s how it was different than the last time TFP had seen it:

No yellowface makeup!

tumblr_inline_nnm1eiTBtR1slrvm0_500

(Katisha could go a bit easier on the brows, but a heavy brow is ‘in’ now, so?)

No outrageous shuffling of feet or excessive gestures meant to convey ‘orientalism’!

first-celebrity-reactions-obama-win

Here is what was left – a very enjoyable romp of a G&S classic that in no way takes courage for an Asian American to sit through. It is enjoyable no matter what your background, and that is the point of Gilbert & Sullivan – that we all may enjoy absurdity and music in equal measure.

In fact, if one were a G&S afficianado, one might celebrate that this production has ‘renewed‘, if not ‘saved‘ altogether, this staple of the canon from those who very accurately charged that, as performed in many venues over the last few decades, The Mikado has been, to Asian Americans, an excuse to put racism on the stage.

This is what is different about this production – and, no, it is not a complete ‘win’, there are things – as there always are – that work and do not work about any new production – however this is not a ‘step’ forward, it is a gigantic leap.

One might even say….huge.

1

Not that any thinking grown ass adult wants to use that particular word anymore, but it is applicable here.

The prologue – which was written by Director David Auxier – does work. It should become a standard around the country. Perhaps the dialogue at times could be tightened and some of the references not quite as broadly broadcast – but this is a rather appropriate way to enter the world of a Victorian Fictional Japan.

What happens is that Gilbert and Sullivan are in a meeting with their Producer, and as an incentive – he gifts them a trunk of treasures from the ‘new’ Japanese exhibition to inspire/bribe them to create a new show. Based on a story that is fiction, but one that was told by Gilbert himself, he is hit on the head with a sword from the collection, faints, and boom – we are ‘in’ his world of The Mikado.

This premise, and the way in which it is done, and the way in which Gilbert is thus a character in “The Mikado” he is imagining, makes vast amounts of sense. Instantly the audience is made aware that no, this is not Japan, this is a fantasy. In that fantasy are characters we have already been introduced to in the prologue – Gilbert weaves this dream with the faces he already knows – faces which are not altered in any way to be anything other than their own.

1448917312-1448917357

TFP saw Chris Vaughn who gave the pompous and creative Gilbert a ‘life’, even when he was an observer in scenes. The way Gilbert is woven in and out of the dialogue is very smart – and again, keeps the audience aware of the ‘invention’ of the world.

The costumes are Victorian English, with elements of design that suggest Japan – or rather “Asia’ in the way someone who has never been to an Asian country, whose only exposure has been in fabrics and rugs and object d’art would suggest- in that of the trimmings and fabric choices.

TFP wants to give a shout out to the cast of the performance on Dec. 31 – they looked entirely at ease with the new setting and costumes. They were relaxed and adept – which made the crowd relax. No one was worried about ‘putting on’ another ethnic facade – and so they ‘played’ the show with every bit of honesty and fun that Gilbert and Sullivan intended. In that, it was one of the strongest Mikados that TFP has seen.

Onto the casting – TFP did help NYGASP try to broaden their reach, and the production she saw had Quynh-My Luu as Yum Yum.

723802

TFP can see that Ms. Luu could just as easily go into Mabel from Pirates of Penzance, as do The Mikado – and that is the absolute point of inclusive casting.

The point – and TFP does have one -is that there are people out there, performers of color and various minority status, that should indeed be seen based on their talent, and not because there is rigorous adherence to ‘the way it was’.

The romance between Yum Yum and her Nanki Poo, played by  Jesse Pimpinella, was authentic, youthful and delightful.

Caitlin Burke, who is of Asian descent, was properly terrifying as Katisha

2f9582_cbc37b189fe9b525bedc7eaf64f4f019

and then absolutely hilarious once she and Adam B. Shapiro’s Koko decided upon their romance – the two of them absolutely ‘killed it’, and with Mr. Shapiro’s only nod to Japan being in his leather obi and accented trousers, it freed him to round out Koko in a majestic way.

mv5bnzmymtu1nzu2n15bml5banbnxkftztcwotu2ntkxoq-_v1_uy317_cr1300214317_al_

Poo-Bah (Andy Herr), The Mikado (Cole Grissom), Pitti-Sing (Jessica Rose Futran), and Peep-Bo (Lauren Frankovich) also embraced their roles with gusto, freed from imagined chains of what it means to portray someone of another culture – and congrats to them all.

tumblr_ngte9tAFqX1tj2qwio2_500

In point of fact, that is how TFP felt about this version of THE MIKADO, that it freed everyone from tired tropes and allowed those on stage and off to relax and enjoy the show.

“A Little List‘ has been delightfully rewritten to include references to Lin Manuel Miranda and Bravolebrities – fair game, as LMM has references to Pirates of Penzance in Hamilton, a G&S ‘quid pro quo” as it were…yes, that works too.

In short – this version of The Mikado by NYGASP is enjoyable.

hAB0D6F77

TFP has said all along that The Mikado does not need to be rewritten to not offend people – it simply should be performed in a way that embraces inclusion, embraces multi-culturalism, because it if does not, the audience and the actors for this type of entertainment, which has entertained people since the 1880’s, will disappear.

If you do not believe TFP, believe Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

5a352a0ba304360c26c8654b03591ff6

You can perform the show in a variety of ways – take it out of Japan entirely but keep the text, you can change the setting and the text, or you can find a new way to keep it in Japan that works.

There are two ways to do this – do what NYGASP has done, and embrace the fantasy aspect of what Japan meant to Gilbert, add a prologue, and keep a diverse cast.

tumblr_lzexd7iqyp1r0zheqo1_400

Or, hopefully sometime soon, have an All Asian Cast of The Mikado, deciding at the time whether or not to use traditional costumes and scenery of Japan.

tumblr_mihl6vgeuy1qbzqexo1_r2_500

Congratulations to NYGASP, particularly Producer David Wannen and Director David Auxier – you definitely could have told us all to go jump in a lake, and continued with the tiredness of orientalism, but you took a good look at a classic piece, and created a new vision that will ensure it goes forward to 2085.

Well done, well done.

Let’s all keep talking and moving forward America’s Arts Community – let’s be there for one another and create the world we want to live in.

tumblr_m5j3a7LLhb1r16z4vo1_500

TFP out.

 

 

The Fairy Princess would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy Holiday Season and is cheerfully slamming the door on 2016.

94787-yes-thank-you-for-your-input-g-lVrh.gif

There have been some good things happening in terms of Asian Americans on Broadway – for example, the opening of IN TRANSIT on Broadway, featuring the wonderful Telly Leung in a lead role.

636168874349104438-5-justin-guarini-telly-leung-in-in-transit-photo-by-joan-marcus-2016

There was the announcement that the Broadway cast of GROUNDHOG DAY is complete and is featuring Raymond J. Lee and Vishal Vaidya (making his Broadway debut) in the cast.

The first shots of Philippa Soo as the lead in AMELIE, which will make it’s Broadway bow in 2017 are out, and they are charming.

85868-11

And FINALLY, TFP’s favorite, Miss Isabella Russo was featured in THE TOYCRACKER extended theatrical commercial for a major retailer, where she co-starred along with Chrissie Teigen and John Legend! (TFP knew this already but could not let the cat out of the bag, but she did say that this was a kid to keep an eye on!)

 So of course with all that goodness abounding, there has to be some abject f*ckery coming our way, and of course, it’s coming at us from a few different angles.

giphy-1

First off, The Hollywood Reporter did one of their year end wrap up discussions at a table, and they asked a bunch of white guys how to not make an animated film not chock o block full of stereotypes.

The only bright light in this conversation which boils down to “All the White Guy had to do to appease the other people in the world and what a drag that was...”

mulan_11

is that apparently John Lassester, the Disney Animation Chief, chose to demand that his team on MOANA (which, truly is beautiful), do actual research on the culture that they were going to be exploring in this film. 

Seemingly the recipient of that ‘enforcement’, kind of resented it, but it wound up enhancing the film!

697275ecaeb8b9b321e72d1c9cb49eb73c93e8a5ccca

Imagine! Knowledge is actually good for you! This is soooo anti-alt-2016 this concept, but there you go. 

Asking and employing actual Pacific Islanders to inform on a film that is about Pacific Islanders can help make the film deeper.

It is still a ‘pan-Pacific Islander’ take on this story, however it is not a documentary, and it is closer than they have gotten since MULAN

They had sensitivity with the casting of the voice actors and there is no forced romance in MOANA, which is great for little girls to have as an image in their heads.

Although it seems like he much preferred the non-research his team invested in when they did ALADDIN – had they done that research, they may have learned that that particular story was not part of the original Arabian Nights, but was added later by a Frenchman. 

Also that the story of Aladdin was supposed to take place in a border town along The Silk Road in…wait for it, China.

5a352a0ba304360c26c8654b03591ff6

Also, TFP does NOT GET how asking Seth Rogan about sensitivity in animation really is justified since, in his animated film coming out, he has a character named FIREWATER.

Think about it.

slamming-the-door-o

So there you go, Hollywood enjoying the perks of having people of color in their stories, but not having people of color direct those films, or even inviting them to the conversation. 

Where was the Director of KUNG FU PANDA 3 – Jennifer Yuh Nelson? 

Where was the Director of SANJAY’S SUPER TEAM – Sanjay Patel?

Tired. So tired.

anigif_enhanced-20100-1396482706-3

Also hot on the heels of the aftermath of BREXIT, comes this offering from the U.K. – In The Depths of Dead Love, presented by The Print Room at The Coronet coming in January.

It is a play. Ah, a play. TFP loves plays.

 Enjoys plays. Does plays.

Where, she wonders, is this play set, perchance?

tumblr_n1eqnyk4p51r2tuixo1_400

Specifically? Let us go to their website:

Set in ancient China, In the Depths of Dead Love tells of a poet exiled from the Imperial Court & the favour of the Emperor, who scrapes a living by renting his peculiar property – a bottomless well – to aspiring suicides. Among these is a married couple who exert an appalling influence over him. Told through Barker’s celebrated exquisite language and affecting humour, In the Depths of Dead Love is the witty and poignant tale of a man facing an impossible dilemma.

Ah, a play set in CHINA!

OF COURSE! WHY NOT?

CHINA of course, had a ton of intrigue and politics, and is one of the oldest countries around from which to draw cultural inference, and stories about China should of course, be told.

One problem.

There is no one, NO ONE in this play on the stage, who happens to be of East Asian heritage.

img_4743

Again, this is a play SET IN CHINA, telling a story of CHINESE PEOPLE, and there are zero British East Asian Actors in the play.

How many?

Zero.

Do we really have to go through this again?

Do we really have to try and figure out that China is a real and actual place?

Do we need to again, look at map?

 All right, esteemed playwright Howard Barker, here is a map of CHINA. TFP will even pick a Dynasty.

Here is one from the HAN Dynasty. BOOM!

han_dynasty_map

WHY do we need, again, to look at images of Ancient China?

8324674_orig

Also, which specific part of Ancient China, my dear Mr. Barker? 

Because…not listed. Not listed in the information TFP was able to glean – so it’s just some ephemeral part of Ancient China – no Dynasty, no actual researched period – which, btw, are all available to find out.

slide_2.jpg

On the magic of the Interweb.

So we know a few things – aside from no British East Asians on the stage- we know that the costumes are going to be wrong. Why? 

Because it’s Amorphous Ancient China.

tumblr_m41a6lSHOv1qh5fuv

In Amorphous Ancient China anything can happen. It’s like an Animated film. Wardrobes can talk. Dragons appear from nowhere and cause documented events to occur.

Matt Damon can save China in Amorphous Ancient China.

c184393f42d47b8ebbd5fbaca245b27d

Tilda Swinton becomes an Ancient Asian One in Amorphous Ancient China.  (Which is potentially when Tibet’s status which all the fighting is currently about was more or less defined, but let’s recognize that really doesn’t matter to them)

mg_swinton_ancientone_comp

In Amorphous Ancient China, Scarlett Johansson can become Japanese – it is just THAT Amorphous and magical!

Because where countries lie on maps simply does not matter when words like Ancient and China are in the same sentence.

maxresdefault

Let’s put it this way – in Amorphous Ancient China, Elvis is probably still alive and ruling over it from a tricked out rumpus room in a basement room in The Forbidden City!!!!!

It. Is. Magical.

People fly in Amorphous Ancient China.

crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-wo-hu-cang-long-2000-fight-sequence-movie-still

Why not? It’s Amorphous. 

The air is different in an ‘exotic’ and ‘ancient’ way which causes Caucasians to become inebriated with the possibility of co-opting every bit of the Chinese experience and then white-washing the Chinese faces from the stories they want to tell!

After all, why have Chinese faces tell stories about things that happened in China? 

That just makes it all far too Chinese, right? 

Too many Chinese people in China and what DO you get?

Like, over a billion Chinese people.

Who can devalue the US dollar any time they choose. 

Just sayin’.

tumblr_inline_o556syrFVO1qais6x_500

How DARE ‘we’ think that British East Asian faces should represent heritage that actual British East Asians have? 

Why, we are upstarts! We are non-Public School, non-gentrified Gentlemen’s Club out of order! 

The bravado of us! The notion!

tumblr-letmeeatpears

Why, the sentiment that British East Asians should portray East Asians is enough to send the women to the powder room in a fit of the Vapors! 

Corset strings must be loosened! 

The whale bone industry will be in jeopardy! 

What WILL the mere presence of these faces lend to the proceedings, anyway?

Just veracity.

Just dignity.

Just authenticity.

In the theater, we fight, don’t we? We fight for veracity. We fight to find the dignity in characters. We fight to be ‘authentic’ in our portrayals.

Here, the Creative Staff and the Theater Company have done something completely different. They have invested in lies. Investing in lies is not theater. Investing in falseness is a betrayal of all that theater has become. The characters are betrayed. The text is not worth hearing.

Why?

Because you are starting with the absurdity that abject racism can be forgiven within the context of the play, simply because white people wanted to do this play.

Read that again – you cannot ignore the foundation and setting of the play, which is specific,  just because your personal hubris believes that being a Caucasian gives you the right to decide when and where ethnic faces will be allowed.

What was it the great Mick Jagger often sang? Sing it with TPF now, SING, DAMMIT:

quote-you-can-t-always-get-what-you-want-but-if-you-try-sometimes-you-might-find-you-get-what-mick-jagger-34-54-57

No, you cannot, oh denizens of THE PRINT ROOM, always get what you want.

You cannot decide upon a portrayal of China in which there are no British East Asians to tell the tale. It is categorically racist. It is unquestionably absurd in premise, and it is the epitome of elitism in British theater. 

Sorry, theatre.

britney-confused-gif

Would you do this if the play was set in Ancient Africa?

Would you?

If there was intrigue in Amorphous Ancient Africa would you be comfortable with portraying an Ancient King of Africa? Would you invite friends? 

Would you consider it ‘your right’ to get onstage and proclaim that you were, indeed, an Ancient King of Africa?

Nope-GIF

Likely not.

Which is the point.

TFP could continue to go on and on, but the simply truth about racism is – people like it.

Artists like it. They must. Especially Artistic Directors, Producers, and Writers of a certain stature. They perpetuate it with glee. They delight in telling Actors and Writers of minority status where their ‘place’ is, they love the premise that we all exist when and where they say we do. That they ‘allow’ our stories to happen. They also ‘allow’ us to appear in them when they say so.

They hide their preferences about it – chalk it up to ‘well, this is who came in.’, or ‘an actor should be able to portray any role‘, or ‘we had no qualified people of color‘ – but that is all a lie.

You can find any actor.

Repeat – YOU CAN FIND ANY ACTOR YOU NEED. There are things called ‘recommendations’, there are people called “Casting Directors’, there are places to advertise, there are Drama Schools to call – any actor of color needed can be found.

In this case, they simply did not want to. The Director, Gerrard McArthur -did not want to. The Playwright, Howard Barker- did not want to. The support staff were fine with promoting a play set in China, but not in promoting British East Asian faces to tell that story. The other issue is – white actors took the job. They had the hubris to take this job. 

All of that, all – is racism.

tumblr_lrktunzo1g1qc3ykyo1_500

It is societal, and it is both unconscious and conscious – the simple truth about why there are more working Caucasians in theater, and why their stories get told more, is because there is bias – they ‘default’ to themselves.

photo.jpg

What we have learned in America this past election, is that white people – and TFP, again, is ½ white – do not like to admit their biases. 

They KNOW it is wrong, they know it is small minded, and ignorant. They know their perceived moral and genetic superiority is a fallacy – but they like it. It makes them comfortable. They want the world to remain horribly pre-disposed in their favor.

14327903284034

Theater artists are no different from anyone else. In fact, sometimes they are worse, because they are mostly politically liberal, they are mostly believers in equality – or that is what they tell you.

However this is not what we, the Artists of Color in the world are being shown. We are not being given an opportunity lightly – it is always conditional. We are not given the benefit of the doubt with our knowledge or experience – it must always be proven. 

Look at the plays of the West End – how many tell the stories of people other than Caucasian? Look at Broadway – same thing.

We are all talking more, yes. But are we changing things?

06-maya-angelou-quotes-believe

TFP is giving The Printing Room the benefit of belief – they are showing her their bias and prejudice, and she is simply going to believe that is who they are.

Congratulations Old Chaps, you are Bigots!

tumblr_m5vqjyOQeH1rxrchno1_500

200 Smacks of the Wand to all at The Printing Room – you are whitewashing the Chinese from China! 

The audacity of that speaks volumes as to your worldview.

tumblr_inline_na5nlhX7fO1sp8zt4

Also – you are hereby banned from entering any Asian food eatery!

Why should we feed you when you erase us?

Oh yeah, this includes curry – how DARE you think it does not?!?!

TFP OUT.

 

 

This past weekend, The Fairy Princess was flown to Washington, D.C., to work on a journalism piece about the rise of Hate Crimes since the 2016 Election.

mulan-gif-mulan-ii-31240775-500-305

Whist TFP was in D.C., VP Elect, Mike Pence was in New York City going to see…

tumblr_static_anstimd0s7k8kk0kkg0oow4gc

where the audience responded with some applause but also,

X1GTD7u

See for yourself…

This is not an unusual situation for VP Elect to find himself in – after all, he has been booed at baseball games and quite  a few other places.

VP Elect Mike Pence has been booed   for defending Military Moms, for complimenting the Governor of Ohio… heck those last two he was being booed by ‘his own people’  – he is a man that knows how to handle it. 

People, not just New Yorkers, do not like him.
giphy-4

At the conclusion of the show, the actor who plays Aaron Burr, Brandon Victor Dixon read a statement directly addressing VP Elect Pence, which was written by the show’s creator, Lin Manuel Miranda, the show’s Producer, Jeffrey Seller, and the show’s Director, Tommy Kail.

The rest of the Cast bore witness. 

There was booing from the audience, the Cast urged them to be quiet, so the statement could be read. 

The Cast did not boo.

Now, aside from the Orange Hate Pumpkin that is our President Elect who decided to tweet bad things about the show and demand an apology which is not warranted...

tumblr_inline_mfi6c2g1il1r7ppx5

there are many, on both sides of this issue taking issue with the treatment of Mike Pence, saying the actors overstepped, that the show should be boycotted..

tumblr_n4ao20ujwv1rosb88o4_250

Like they could even get a TICKET

72784a51682a006df4e05feb27beccfd

Like, you just casually turn down tickets to HAMILTON?

Manilla-Luzon

People who say that speaking truth to power is not the place of the theater – to them, TFP says – please brush up on your theatrical history – you are absolutely and categorically wrong.

f6f39236975c4b33a13b56a888eedb0c

What the Cast and Crew did was follow a long standing Irish tradition called “The Noble Call’.

Here is an actual Irish person from Ireland to explain it to you:

A Noble Call occurs after the show – an actor in the show, or an invited guest, is invited to address the crowd on matters of the day.

It is considered, in Irish storytelling and theater, that everyone has a song to sing or a tale to tell in a unique way, and it is one’s duty to share it, by the sharing of it – using it to ‘call’ to others there, that it is Noble. 

This is a tradition that is ingrained in the Irish storytelling tradition.

TFP knows this because…wait for it, she is Irish.

anigif_optimized-31946-1421983505-1-1461091692

Ireland has, as do most other countries in the world, a much longer history than the United States.

As in, here is a ditty that is so oldthey don’t even know how old it really is…but Ed Sheeran is singing it now –  low those hundreds of years later – that is what is so very awesome about Irish music and theatrical tradition.

(Yes, Ed Sheeran who wrote that Justin Bieber song)

Ireland has been an invaded country and a politically divided country since almost the beginning- but the plays and songs and stories and artists and actors and dancers from Ireland, or with Irish roots – have given us all hopes and dreams in some of the most brilliant words and music and performances of all time.

Since wandering players were brought before the Kings and Queens of Ancient Ireland, artists and musicians, fools and artisans, have been speaking truth on the matters of the day.

You may recall the absolutely captivating Noble Call done at The Abbey Theater by Drag Queen, Panti Bliss, on the oppression that LGBTQ people can be exposed on a daily basis by ‘nice’ people, the sort of people you would feel comfortable leaving your children with.

Panti Bliss’s Nobel Call was filmed in 2014.

In 2015, Ireland legalized marriage equality.

Theater can make a difference.

giphy-4

In fact, theater has always intended to make a difference, and it has always been used to speak truth to power – what is The Crucible if not an indictment of McCarthyism and it’s trials of Artists in America?

tumblr_lzrcnc3io81rp32b4o1_500

What is Angels in America if not a call to arms for LGBTQ activism?

quote-there-are-no-gods-here-no-ghosts-and-spirits-in-america-there-are-no-angels-in-america-tony-kushner-65-44-86

Wise words by Playwright, John Patrick Shanley are assure us that it is right to ask the questions, it is just to find things immoral, it is powerful to look for honesty.

john-patrick-shanley-376062

The Cast and Crew of Hamilton did what they were supposed to do, by long standing theatrical tradition.

The cast of Hamilton is inclusive – it has people of various backgrounds, various sexes, and sexual orientations.

The policies that Mike Pence has backed in his work – are not inclusive, we of the theater, and we of the world, should not forget this.

We cannot forget what Mike Pence has stood for.

john-adams-power-always-thinks

We cannot forget the positions Mike Pence has taken towards our people.

06-maya-angelou-quotes-believe

Now, whilst the Orange Hate Pumpkin was dodging and tweeting about a Broadway show he has not seen , trying to take the spotlight off the fact that he admitted he was wrong and paid $25 Million in damages in the lawsuit filed by former students of Trump University -(and as a lawyer’s kid, may TFP just add) he does not want you to remember that people do not ‘settle’ because they are nice folks.

People settle  because if they go to trial and get a judgement against them, it is likely to be much larger than what they were willing to pay. They settle and get the other side to sign something saying they will not reveal what was revealed, or they will not write a check,  and then they walk away shouting that there were never any judgements against them.

nCI4NxR

So while that smoke and mirrors thing was happening – Mike Pence was being ‘the cool guy’ and announcing that what happened at HAMILTON did not offend him at all.

He liked the show, and that, since he is a ‘big history buff’- he had a great time and that he will encourage representation of all Americans when he sits at the hand of the Father.

This almost makes him appealing.

tumblr_m41a6lSHOv1qh5fuv

But we cannot forget what Mike Pence is.

tumblr_m5m7lf1N3O1rul0hko1_400

The actor playing Hamilton is an Openly Gay, HIV Positive, Cancer Survivor who took care of both of his Parents when they were stricken with cancer.

VP Mike Pence would approve of electrocuting him to attempt to ‘make him straight’ – because that is a part of ‘conversion therapy‘, and Mike Pence is for conversion therapy. 

Mike Pence is also for denying serviceslike baking a cake – to someone if they are perceived to be Gay or if they state they are Gay. 

His is also, obviously, against marriage equality.

Q34j0zb

There are women in the cast. 

Women whom Mike Pence would deny access to health care, deny contraception, deny basic control over their own bodies.

Mame_Bea_Arthur_drinks

There are People of Color in the cast. People whose lives matter – and the policies that Mike Pence has backed, marginalize those people. 

Policies that the Orange Hate Pumpkin has thought of as a good idea – such as stop and frisk, and torture – endanger us.

tumblr_mha0v3Wruv1s17dn4o2_250

The GOP announced plans to de-fund Medicare and Social Security.

smash_borle

Mike Pence is anti-union

The people in that Cast are members of Actor’s Equity – which just won a decisive battle for them in the Off Broadway contracts.

tumblr_mhewdw14h51qerpzro8_250

The people in that cast  are under attack from the GOP in a way that has not been seen in this country in a very long time.

This Country is under attack from the GOP in a way that has not been seen in a long time.

Mike Pence is a step behind the man who has a short temper, a large business empire that he does not seem to be stepping away from, the man who has appointed hatemongers to positions of privilege – that man will make mistakes.

One or ten of them may become impeachable. (Conservatively)

tumblr_inline_nwsolxofKo1s7ww91_500

Then we will be stuck with Mike Pence – and that is actually scarier.

The Orange Hate Pumpkin won because he was a ‘maverick’ and an ‘outsider’ – honestly, we do not know his record, because he does not have one.

Mike Pence is on record denying rights. Mike Pence is on record trying to control women’s bodies. Mike Pence is on record trying to bust up unions and saying that torture is within the realm of possibility.

tumblr_ngnk84UI2o1togmudo1_500

TFP was just in Washington, D.C. this weekend, and it was tense. She talked to ordinary, non-show folk people, and people are scared of this new team coming in.

america-will-never-be-destroyed-from-the-outside

HAMILTON‘s Noble Call – it was warranted.

wqnuvUX

It was in the very best theatrical tradition.

It spoke truth to power.

TFP commends the Cast on their composure.

 They have a great deal to risk – they are comprised of marginalized groups – many may not acknowledge their claim on American rights, many may not choose to hear their plea for representation.

Mike Pence is pretending to, and that is not comforting at all. 

His record shows he cares very little for representing all the people, his record shows he only represents people who look like him, who think like him, who worship as he worships.

They have the Presidency, they have the House, they have the Senate.

quote-when-a-government-betrays-the-people-by-amassing-too-much-power-and-becoming-tyrannical-alexander-hamilton-65-9-0900

We have the Theater. We have the Artists. We have the freedom to speak truth to power – until they take it away.

The Cast of HAMILTON spoke for all of us – even if you think they did not speak for you, they did.

TFP thanks them.

She thanks them as a minority, and she thanks them as a person whose Irish Grandparents came over on a boat, escaping oppression, because of their religion.

She knows her Grandparents would not even be able to comprehend what a ‘blog’ is – but she knows that they would definitely understand a “Noble Call’.

tumblr_nwgd2uqHwK1sg6teeo4_500

See you all at #BroadwayCon

 

The Fairy Princess is feeling this kind of way about the National Election

20

For those who may read this blog and who voted for the Orange Hate Pumpkin who is now putting a White Supremacist in the White House…which one supposes would make it the whitest of houses indeed, TFP has something to say – and this will not be long, and it will not be overly harsh and she has stated it on social media, so this is just an expanded version.

You may not consider yourself Racist.

You may not consider yourself a Misogynist.

You may not consider yourself a Homophobe.

However if you voted for the Orange Hate Pumpkin, TFP considers that you are.

10090546_your-super-patriotic-july-4th-guide-to-patriotism_t8d214bd5

Cuz you endorsed it – with your vote. You voted against reason and science and rational discourse – you voted for hatred.

06-maya-angelou-quotes-believe

Hatred did not bother you, it was not a deal breaker – and that is why you are a racist misogynistic homophobe.

Because you voted for it.  You endorsed it.

You have showed who you are, and TFP is doing you the courtesy of believing you.

You voted against TFP‘s Family and Friends, and their Families – you voted against Parents and their children and the kicker is – those who voted for HRC were voting FOR your Families – even if we disagreed, even if we didn’t know you. We were voting for you.

200_s

A vote is something that you exercise because you want the country to turn in a particular way – and the way you want it, Trump voter, is full of a lot of hate. You cannot dispute economic reasons – Nobel Prize winning Economists said it would be a disaster.

Before you get up in arms about how you voted and your reasons why – they don’t actually matter, because sh*t just got real.

doctor-who-shut-up-gif

There is a White Supremacist who is going to be Chief of Staff. They are appointing a Climate Change denier as Head of the Environmental Protection Agency. They are going to phase out Medicare. They are going to force members of a religion to register themselves.

Which violates the First Amendment, which reads:

1-first-amendment

The Hate Popsicle that is a certain blonde spewer of vileness even suggested taking away voting rights if all four grandparents of a person, were not born in the United States.

tumblr_n4ao20ujwv1rosb88o4_250

Now, TFP is actually a dual citizen of a fairly lovely country and so, if she is deported unlawfully because none of her Grandparents were born in the United States…well, at least she is not going to a conflict area. She is either going to be going to Australia or Ireland because…that is where both sets of Grandparents hailed from.

How many Americans could claim that all four of their grandparents were born in the United States? All four.

tumblr-letmeeatpears

There are many reasons that Hillary Rodham Clinton did not appeal to different demographics but the one area that people seem to be ignoring is education. It seems that there has been a lack of teaching critical thought, and if we do not all step up to that challenge, we are only going to sink down into the tar like the dinosaurs we have now become with this election. Everyone is so concerned with trigger warnings, that critical thought is going by the wayside, and that is one thing we have to stop.

There has been quite a bit of justifiable weight given to news pundits normalizing hatred – which they did. There has been quite a lot of weight given to Bernie Sander’s supporters and the vileness they spewed at Sec. of State Clinton during the primaries.

Calling someone a ‘corporate whore’, when the candidate is a woman, is not running a clean campaign. Calling someone a ‘bitch’, even if you yourself are a female, is not running a clean campaign.

By the by – no, Sanders did NOT denounce it right away – so look, there we are, 2 Caucasian men called upon to denounce hatred against females and minority groups and there – with both Trump and Sanders, no immediate response.

Sanders later told his supporters to stop, but they had already shown the way in to creating a nice wall of misogyny for Sec of State Clinton to have to scale.

tumblr_inline_na5nlhX7fO1sp8zt4

There has been quite a bit of weight given to Third Party Candidates and people who were just too damn lazy to get to their polling place, or who thought that waiting in line is a drag, or that they were just ‘not that into it’.

You did not have a candidate to ‘believe’ in? So what? Life is rough. Life is not about you and your precious feelings – life is about making the better choice for society.

tumblr_nwhaf1b6dR1u09zllo2_500

Life is about sometimes you have to ‘suck it up, Buttercup‘ and vote for someone who would keep us going in the right direction, who had been working for women and children for thirty something years and who knows how to make things happen domestically and internationally

cb38c9ab036dd000a6f5069c68dd432e

…or someone who repeatedly lies, but who happens to have a penis.

There is NO moral high ground here for anyone to look over the disaster the United States – which, we should really start by changing the name, no? – is going to become under the Great Hate Pumpkin and his tiny hands minions.

anigif_optimized-31946-1421983505-1-1461091692

TFP has had six friends report acts of confrontation and verbal assaults since the election – one accompanied by physical assault on a child  at school – on their social media pages. Without sharing too much of their personal stories – they are all well educated, tax paying, society minded, contributing adults, or in the case of the child, the Parents are. Some are white, but members of a minority community, some were of Asian descent, and some were of mixed race.

These were in Coast areas – so imagine how bad it will get in the middle of the country?

However – before we all totally and completely despair – TFP has a thought.

tumblr_m41a6lSHOv1qh5fuv

The people on the front lines of changing America and American thought for tomorrow are…wait for it…Librarians and Teachers.

giphy

YES!

Librarians and teachers can actively combat the lack of critical thought that is a pox on our houses right now. Librarians and teachers can introduce this thing called…wait for it…books.

britney-confused-gif

Books about other cultures, books about humanity, books about exploring, and kindness and manners – all those qualities we are desperately lacking right now in many areas.

Diverse books can help us all. Here is a list for teachers, that is pretty good – and here is another one.

Children are like seeds, you have to water them so they grow to be an actual plant. Librarians and teachers, along with parents, have an opportunity to show them worlds through books, that they have not dreamed of yet. Better yet, we should give librarians and teachers a mandate – to open one child’s mind, per day. At least.

Let us support Librarians and Teachers – approve their budgets! Pay them what they are worth! Pitch in, Parents and Community Leaders!

Creative and critical thinking is required to be a human. They are required to grow.

tumblr_n2qyhguem41tt0ypwo5_400

Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton were not born with silver spoons in their mouths. They got to where they are now because of education.

Because they read.

Just like, in fact, this guy.

tumblr_static_anstimd0s7k8kk0kkg0oow4gc

So while we, the adults of this nation have royally screwed the pooch on this last election – inciting hatred and all kinds of bad behavior – we do not have to pass it along.

We have to help our Librarians and Teachers, and support their ability to teach subjects like science that is actual science, and math that is actual math, and reading that is not just about one book, but about ALL the books.

After all, if David Duke’s stepson, Derek Black can change his mind, so can anyone else.

We can all, perhaps take a page from the book that TFP reads, and has read to her child since it was given to him at about 3 months old.

9780545906555

Because as Oscar Hammerstein wrote all those years ago – you’ve got to be carefully taught.

And it seems like much of America, has been – much to the shame of us all.

The Fairy Princess is still trying to make sense of this most recent of National Elections, so she has been sitting at home in a pantsuit eating leftover Halloween candy – obviously very productive.

mulan_11

She does not want to accept the bigotry and racism and sexism that caused  people to vote against their own interests (Unless you happen to be the 1%), the environment, education and basically, people of minority status.

anigif_enhanced-20100-1396482706-3

She has already had two friends, in Coast cities, confronted by supporters of the Great Hate Pumpkin, and that is two friends too many for her to stomach.

She could go on and on, but she is going to do something else here – she is going to reach out to a bunch of kids that wish to do a play in their home community of Blue Hill.

Huh_wtf_uhm

In Nebraska. Blue Hill, Nebraska – population 986.

You see, the kids of Blue Hill’s High School have been working on The Laramie Project, which is set to be performed this coming weekend – and well…as a result of the election, and because the Great Hate Pumpkin has not asked his supporters to tone down acts of violence and confrontation – these kids are being ‘asked(and one assumes not politely) by some, to cancel their show that is based on the murder of Matthew Shepard by two disenfranchised white young men in Laramie, Wyoming.

matthew-shepard-matthew-shepard-30914624-500-522

Matthew was killed because he was Gay. He was beaten, robbed, and then driven to a deserted area, strung up on a fence and left to die.

His story has a resounding message for today.

TFP, as many know – does not back down from a fight. She does not. It makes her many things, a nasty woman?

Proudly.

tumblr_m0iyinlFCg1qj6xzto1_500

Educated?

Definitely.

tumblr_n970uq1Ry71qkbcqqo2_500

Compassionate?

Hopefully.

tumblr_o43etoVRdf1ql5yr7o2_500

This is what she wants to say to the people of Blue Hill and to the kids in the show.

(TFP hates ‘open letters’, so we shall forgo the “Dear Blah Blah Blah’. Open letters are as much a pox on our houses as anything else. TFP thinks – just write what you mean, so that is what she is going to do.)

Art can do many things in the world that acts of violence and rhetoric can not.

Art can lift people up. It can help them have empathy for those around them – whether those around them who need compassion are dealing with issues stemming from age, or unemployment, or lack of opportunity, or racism, or sexism, or disability, or LGBTQ discrimination, or either physical or sexual abuse – ART can help.

It can show people in the audience – whether in an art gallery, a museum, a symphony space – what it feels like to have another point of view – even if just for a moment. Art leaves people with emotions they did not know they had

In fact it is good to remember here that when civilizations have passed, what we the inheritors of the earth learn and identify those civilizations by, in fact – is the Art.

Great writers tell us stories of history and legend, and we are the better for it.

Great Painters and Sculptors ‘show us’ the world of their time, and we revel in the view of this looking glass through time.

Great Composers leave us their works for hundreds of years, so that we may viscerally feel what they felt and heard. Folk Artists pass along themes meant for simpler moments, quiet moments some of which have simply traveled through individuals over the course of eons.

Great Artisans show us through their crafts, as clearly as a photograph sometimes, how people lived and what they relied upon to make their lives bearable.

Art is what makes life bearable.

You cannot control what other people think, or how they vote, or what is in their heart – but when you share Art that comes from your soul – in this case, a play that you have all worked on diligently – you can show them what is in YOUR heart.

You can show them the purity of the message of The Laramie Project – that turning your head away from bearing witness to evil is the wrong thing to do. That ordinary people can make extraordinary choices to pull us all together when hatred tries to rip us all apart.

You can show them that no one should be scared to be who they are or fear getting killed for it.

You can show them that tolerance, one of the most basic tenants of any religion, is the way forward to healing any divide.

tumblr_mavz4lxj5m1rosb88o1_r1_500

Now, one should know that TFP has a personal connection to this piece, of sorts – other than having seen it and being a part of the Broadway community etc, etc, etc.

TFP worked with The Matthew Shepard Foundation for several years, helping them obtain ‘fancy’ items for their annual fundraiser. She has met Mrs. Shepard and talked with her, she helped get TMS foundation to endorse a film she was an Associate Producer on – The Sensei.

Not only is she more than familiar with this theater piece, this theater piece inspired her to help. Much as Matthew’s story inspired The Sensei‘s Writer/Director, D. Lee Inosanto to create the film.

That is what theater does. That is what Art does. It gives inspiration.

The kids of Blue Hill have TFP‘s complete support and admiration for tackling a show of this nature in High School – that they want to do this show, want to explore these themes means that the Parents and Teachers of Blue Hill are raising extraordinary people.

giphy

Why let a few disgruntled people ruin the creation put together by these very compassionate and thinking leaders of tomorrow?

Artists – they put themselves ‘out there’ with their work, and push back happens – so even as these High School Students experience the joy of performing, they enter the pantheon of those attacked for free thought, and they should take comfort in knowing that they are not the first to have been berated, nor will they be the last.

TFP trusts that the good people of Blue Hill will stand behind their students, their very extraordinary students at this time. She knows that all Parents, all Educators only want what is best for ‘their’ kids – and what is best is that they grow, not only in height, but in dignity, in compassion, and artistry.

Break A Leg, oh Students of Blue Hill – the Broadway Community supports you and your choices – and we cannot wait to meet the people you are on your way to becoming in the future.

tumblr_lkw693yQOn1qcafht

Students of Blue Hill – Places, please.

TFP out.

 

The Fairy Princess wants to remind you, the Theater Going Professional of a few important things coming up on the calendar – so this will be as brief as her tolerance is for those voting for a 3rd Party Candidate or the Orange Hate Pumpkin.

mulan-li-shang-fighting-74410

See that roundhouse kick?

If you are voting third party, that’s to you from me, Pinky Lee.

tumblr_nvpwdp1nzv1si194ao1_r1_500

So first – PANEL DISCUSSION TONIGHT on THE MIKADO

This one is sponsored by NYGASP – as in New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players in New York City, probably the oldest and most established G&S company within these United States.

On the panel – Dr. Jonathan Jenkins Ishikawa – Professor of Espistemology at University of British Columbia who is also a G&S performer and expert, Kelvin Moon Loh- the Assistant Director for their new version of Mikado and an experienced Broadway performer himself (King & I, Side Show), Scott Watanabe, Actor (Allegiance, Broadway Bounty Hunter), Associate Director and Director of this new version of The Mikado, David Auxier, as well as the Producer/Exec Dir of NYGASP, David Warren.

And…this one:

photo

Moderated by the esteemed Robert Lee, Professor of Graduate Musical Theater Writing at NYU’s TISCH School of the Arts.

Should be fun.

-Ish.

tumblr_n2qyhguem41tt0ypwo5_400

Here are the details:

November 3, 2016 –

The Kaye Playhouse (68th Street between Park & Lexington Ave)

6pm

FREE

THE SECOND PLACE AT WHICH YOUR AEA PRESENCE IS REQUIRED is actually November 7th at 2pm.

anigif_optimized-11699-1421984886-8

AEA needs their members to be present to VOTE (all about the Voting, Kids – think of it as a POTUS warm-up) so that AEA members can continued to be PAID and not be forced to self-sabotage.

Yes, this is about people who are Union Members, who wish to remain people who can afford the gas and coffee and rent and everything else as well as being a working actor, showing up to vote on whether or not to have the other side’s POV shoved down their gullets every time they get a AEA communication.

This sounds crazypants, no?

72784a51682a006df4e05feb27beccfd

Yeah, it totally does – however there is a movement going on by those who are in the “Please let 99 Seat Theater Contracts go right on not paying their actors minimum wage because it’s LA and everyone really just does theater because it is either fun or because they make simply scads of money doing television and they don’t care about the money’ contract.

They want to change the Union By-Laws so that they – they who are sucking up much needed AEA Funds in lawyer fees to defend us all – they want to change the Union By-Laws so that any propaganda they send out has to be included in all  AEA communications with members.

So they do not have to pay for the support of their own argument.

tumblr_inline_o556syrFVO1qais6x_500

Again, they are trying to force our Union – that we all fought to get in to, that we all pay dues to – to include their anti-Union rhetoric in all communications.

They want us to do their work for them. At our cost. At the Union’s cost – written, telephone, or electric communications must include their views if this By-Law gets changed.

tumblr_nr2y1wRL1F1urdsiho1_250

That is not what a Union does. Hate to break it to you Pro-99 Folks, but Unions represent ALL the peoples in it – not a crazy faction that is actively campaigning to not be paid.

You know what suffers when Union Members do not get paid?

Everything. Pension plans, Health plans, services, Administration.

All of it suffers – and there is NO WAY that The Fairy Princess would EVER – and she means EVER advise or condone Actors and Stage Managers to actively sink their own ships and fight for the right to be bamboozled and hoodwinked by some charlatan “Producers/Actors’ in Los Angeles who want nothing more than to reinforce the notion that everyone else should make money except the Actors because our talent on stage does not deserve compensation – but of course THEY all still get paid. Just not the Actors.

All you need to do to attend is go to the Actors Equity webpage and sign up in advance OR JUST SHOW UP BEARING YOUR AEA CARD.

It’s going to take 2 hours of your day. Cuz meeting, then voting.

You think “#FAIRWAGEONSTAGE” is a good premise?

tumblr_n1iwof5juk1qlvwnco1_500

What about #FAIRWAGEEVERYSTAGE – that’s right – on ALL Stages our members deserve to be paid – every single one.

tumblr_mihl6vgeuy1qbzqexo1_r2_500

So do not let them hijack your imput – you go and stand on line and vote against changing the By-Laws to support an Anti-Union agenda.

NOVEMBER 7, 2PM

If you are attending the meeting in New York City, note that the location has changed. Please come to:

New York Hilton Midtown

The Sutton Room, 2nd floor

1335 Avenue of the Americas (53rd Street)

New York, NY 10019

C’mon Folks – this stuff is important.

That is why details matter. Not just the big vote – ALL votes.

im_with_her

Also – NATIONAL ELECTION FOR ALL US CITIZENS ON NOVEMBER 8TH!!!

Do not throw away your shot!

extremists-always-focus-on-women

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess is counting down the days to November 8th like…

tumblr_mihl6vgeuy1qbzqexo1_r2_500

let this be DONE already!

Randy Rainbow is the only thing getting her through this election season…and if the USA knighted people, she would write him in as a candidate, because…seriously though…

Now, TFP never has officially endorsed anyone – did not have to, this blog is only 4 years old and President Obama was doing great- but she will now. 

With 11 days to go in this election, it is her opinion that  ANYONE who could vote for the Orange Hate Pumpkin over one of the most qualified candidates to ever run for office who also happens to be a woman, well….ANYONE who could vote for THAT guy?

tumblr_ngnk84UI2o1togmudo1_500

Let’s just say that not only will Houston have a problem if you try and list all your reasons why you think he’s a good candidate to TFP.

Done with the election BS, and done with all the arguing. TFP does not want to hear about your trust issues that stem from your Mommy issues that stem from your innate need to think your opinion is more precious than civil rights of everyone else in this country. If you did not get enough love in your childhood, go watch CHICAGO a few times and remember even Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly could not do it alone.

tumblr_mmqykm7uiz1ql5yr7o1_400

TFP sat through 3 Presidential debates, one VP debate and endless Social Media rhetoric and she’s finished with it all. Her friends are all well aware, as is probably all of the Twotter, but she is now, and forever, just like CATS…supporting the Democratic candidate.

TFP does not care about your third party ‘does not know where Aleppo is, sunk all their mutual funds into big oil candidates’.

They don’t know squat, and they are not qualified.

If you want to know who TFP supports for the highest office in the land – it is former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

im_with_her

Now here is some Asian American Broadway News….

Our favorite School of Rock-er, Miss Isabella Russo is leaving the show in November. She opened this Original Musical on the Broadway in the role of Summer, and is leaving it an older and wiser pre-teen.

TFP is sure you are going to hear much more about this multi-talent, and that is all she is going to say at this particular point. (But it’s good)

2

MISS SAIGON is coming back to Broadway and they are having their OPEN CALL in November.

giphy-4

An OPEN CALL – which was pretty much pioneered by the first production of MISS SAIGON low those many years ago – is when people can audition for the show regardless of if they are a member of the Stage Actor’s Union, ACTOR’S EQUITY, or not.

Please note, that you will have to join AEA should you land a role in the show.

Here is the ‘official’ notice from the Casting Office of Tara Rubin, which was sent to TFP earlier today:

“MISS SAIGON”

Producer: Cameron Mackintosh
Music: Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics: Richard Maltby Jr. & Alain Boublil
Adapted from original French Lyrics by Alain Boublil with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler Director: Laurence Connor
Musical Supervisor: Stephen Brooker Musical Staging by Bob Avian
Additional Choreography: Geoffrey Garratt
Production Design: Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an original concept by Adrian Vaux Costume Design: Andreane Neofitou
Lighting Design: Bruno Poet Sound Design: Mick Potter
Orchestrations: William David Brohn
Casting: Tara Rubin Casting

Coming to Broadway Spring 2017

OPEN CALL IN NEW YORK

Friday, November 11th
Sign in for Men: 9am – 10am
Sign in for Women: 10:15am – 11:30am

Dance Call:
10am – 11am – Men 11:30am – 12:30pm – Women

Actors MAY be kept to sing later in the day.
Women should please come prepared with a legit soprano song and bring your book if you have one
Men please come prepared with a song that shows your range

Pearl Studios
500 8th Avenue, 4th Floor, NYC

SEEKING:
ASIAN AMERICAN ACTORS

FEMALE ENSEMBLE – ASIAN; Strong Sopranos with excellent dance ability to play prostitutes, bar girls, refugees, Go-Go dancers.

MALE TUMBLERS – ASIAN; Advanced acrobats and tumblers; singing ability a plus, to play barmen, officers of South Vietnams Army, inhabitants of Saigon, vendors.

What to Bring:

Picture and Resume if you have one

Now, TFP knows that there is some reactions to MISS SAIGON that people have and she has some thoughts on that- which she has covered in the past.

tumblr_n97tzsI6Lt1qdx3gto6_250

However – she will defer to TONY Award Winner Lea Salonga (Now doing FUN HOME in the Philippines), whom TFP interviewed last year in regards to ALLEGIANCE:

TFP: …I think if you are looking at MISS SAIGON and only see prostitution, you are missing the point.

LS: You are missing the point.

Y’all can click on the link and go and read the entire interview – but basically – if you are saying you will not perform in a musical that mentions or shows aspects of prostitution, fine – but if you are only upset about Asian prostitutes being portrayed and not protesting equally shows like THE LIFE, or LES MISERABLES, or CABARET, or BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS…or the endless list of musicals that deal with prostitution – OLIVER, GIGI..then you are not really protesting because of the portrayal of women.

MTI5NTQ5MTE5NzU1NzAwMjM0

You are protesting a show that you do not want to see based solely on the fact that it has Asian performers – and that is ridiculous.

If  the Asian American Broadway performers or in this case, those who wish to be Asian American Broadway performers, want to go and audition for this show- it is their right to do so.

Do we go to your job and tell you that you cannot do it, simply because we do not like it?tumblr_n4ao20ujwv1rosb88o4_250

In theater, you vote with your ticket. You do not want to see the show – do not audition, do not purchase a ticket.

Those who choose to audition…may the odds be ever in your favor.

giphy-4

SPEAKING OF SHOWS THAT GET PROTESTEDTFP is appearing on a panel in regards to the new NY Gilbert & Sullivan production of THE MIKADO that is rapidly approaching.

The Mikado in the 21st Century:
A conversation with New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players will host a public forum on November 3, 2016, at 6:00PM onstage at Kaye Playhouse(68th street between Park and Lexington Avenue). The forum continues a dialogue between the Asian-American theatrical community, the NYGASP staff and creative team, and the Gilbert & Sullivan audience.

The program will feature speaker Dr. Jonathan Jenkins Ishikawa, professor of epistemology at University of British Columbia who is also a Gilbert & Sullivan expert and performer.

The discussion will revolve around broad issues such as the existence of orientalism in our culture and the need for diversity in casting, as well as the need for change in performance practice of The Mikado specifically.

The panel will share steps NYGASP is taking with the new production they are mounting this Dec 28-Jan 8 at the Kaye Playhouse. The discussion will raise questions of how a repertory company imagines new ways of presenting a classic work while maintaining the work’s artistic integrity.

The event will be moderated by Robert Lee, professor of Graduate Musical Theatre writing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Panel members include Assistant Director for the new Mikado production Kelvin Moon Loh (Broadway’s The King and I, Side Show); actor Scott Watanabe(Allegiance, Broadway Bounty Hunter); actor Erin Quill (The King and I, Flower Drum Song, Avenue Q); NYGASP Associate Director and director and conceiver of the new Mikado, David Auxier; and Producer/Executive Director David Wannen.

TFP is pretty sure you are all going…

tumblr_inline_nnm1eiTBtR1slrvm0_500

because of course, TFP did ‘help‘ NYGASP come to the decision to table their production of THE MIKADO that was in their repertory, by writing a few (this one, and this one) pointed blog posts, based on the fact that she had actually seen their past production of the show.

tumblr_o5iduaaKX21ub9o82o2_500

That was then, this is now – let’s all get together and slug it all out and sing some high notes and patter songs in a civilized manner.

Won’t you join us?

tumblr_m41a6lSHOv1qh5fuv

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess has learned, as have many others (Angry Asian Man, Racebending,) – that a super secret first draft of Disney’s promised live action version of MULAN has surfaced, and…it had a white guy saving the day.

mulan_11

Yes, apparently those screenwriters were a bit too in love with the show, MARCO POLO – (which should of course be called, KHAN),

shade_gif

and they decided that a Roman soldier somehow found his way to China, (Obviously he got a ride from Matt Damon and slept on Tilda Swinton’s floor as he made his way through Tibet) fell in love with an under-aged Chinese girl, (because that old trope is not as gross as we all think it is) and they he is able to train her so that she can go and save China.

giphy

A white guy ‘training’ a Chinese teenager.

Anyone with the ‘ick’ factor on high alert?

Anyone? Bueller?

280684_orig

Anyway, those screenwriters have already been taken off the project, and it has been handed to others who deal in dinosaurs – and Disney has avowed that they are not going to give Mulan a Caucasian love interest, but here is the question TFP wants to pose – are they going to go so far off the template for this live action that the songs and the basic story line – which is compelling on it’s own – is not even a part of the landscape of this film?

Well then, what is the point?

anigif_enhanced-20100-1396482706-3

Also,  what about using Asian American talent in front of the camera, much as you did with the majority of the voices of the film? In point of fact – Disney used a great deal of Asian American voice talent on the second MULAN film as well, so it is not like Disney does not know they are out there. They have been pioneers in the past, so TFP thinks it HIGHLY unlikely that they would not continue in this manner, but well…Hollywood.

Not to mention the fact that, well…we have had quite a few more APIs on Broadway since that first film,

tumblr_o0jx96yr0T1qe6vjyo1_500

so there is rampant talent available.

200_s-1

In fact, Disney has recent TONY Nominee, Philippa Soo, singing in their new MOANA film.

f446e9a2-6485-4043-80fd-dbabfa2d3909

Also Dwayne “The Rock’ Johnson, who has Samoan heritage has a lead role which requires singing.

NOT TO MENTION THAT the Original Voice Actors and singers of MULAN all look crazy hot and talented like they have been all along...

This whole argument that Asian people have to be ‘schooled’ by a white protagonist as to how to save their own country – a country which, by the way, managed to build that Great Wall so well it is able to be seen from SPACE – is annoying.

Why do they all of a sudden need help? They were making amazing art, poetry, and paintings while most of Europe were wearing homespun and living as serfs.

wqnuvUX

If the other musical projects that have been adapted for live action all incorporated the songs in a great cinematic way – why cannot this new live action MULAN be sung and acted by American performers who both appreciate the greatness of Alan Menken’s songs, and who grew up in love with this film and the voice actors in the first place?

mulan-gif-mulan-ii-31240775-500-305

Make the cast international if you wish, ok fine – but keep this Asian story with Asian talent. Because…we do not want to see this kind of thing happening with this story…

tumblr_mwtu2c0vcA1r0zonro1_250

Scarlett Johannsen, Emma Stone, Matt Damon, Tom Cruise, Tilda Swinton....the list actually goes on and on back to the beginning of America cinema.

tumblr_inline_o08mz4jkOL1rr5si2_500

It has to stop.

Please make it stop.

giphy

No matter WHO eventually writes whatever draft gets the nod to go ahead – please remember that not only do Asian Americans have an innate attachment to this film, the Disney audience in general has an attachment to this film – and TFP is fairly certain that loving an animated film that is without a white protagonist saving the day means they will love a live action version with the same kind of focus.

TFP knows that this first draft is not going forward and likely there are going to be many revisions with this new team, but she is just so agonizingly tired of having to reiterate that representations of Asian peoples and their history – even history that has been ‘liberated’ (ahem), from it’s land of origin, are staggeringly important.

tumblr_n1iwof5juk1qlvwnco1_500

TFP wants her kid to be able to see Asian people in American films where they are celebrated and loved, as much as she personally celebrates and loves her kid.

Isn’t this “all for the kids’ anyway? What is the end goal here? Isn’t it fostering integration and expanding minds and finding narratives of various cultures worthy of examination and study? Isn’t it?

A lot of people are finding that audiences have no issues with learning about the variety of heritages within the United States, in fact, they enjoy it.

crazy-ex-picture-smile

Otherwise, it’s going to be a total sh*t show – why not call Justin Lin or Ang Lee or someone who does not have to start from the ground up, and see what they can do with it?

Or someone who directs musical films? Bill Condon? He is doing a bang up job on Beauty and the Beast – can’t we book him ahead of time to give us a glorious live action piece?

mulan-li-shang-fighting-74410

Can’t the stupidity go away? Isn’t it time yet? If not – when WILL it be time?

TFP is looking at noon next Friday, to be honest, oh powers that be.

TFP out.

 

The Fairy Princess has been watching these Presidential Debates like

Mame_Bea_Arthur_drinks

She has also been directing a show, teaching a class, and getting ready to appear in a show at Feinstein’s/54 Below THIS COMING FRIDAY NIGHT at 11:30 PM called MUSE MATCH – where they take a composer, match them with a singer and have a night of original songs. TFP is working with Andrew David Sotomayer, who has written a great, thoughtful number, and all the proceeds are to go to a charity that deals with the gun violence.

Hamilton--Bway

She will fully admit that the ONLY way she is getting through to Election Day is watching Randy Rainbow videos and hugging small children.

Amazing.

Can he get a medal for these? He should totally get a medal for these for cultural contribution at times of extreme stress.

Speaking of the Arts in terms of extreme stress – how about asking kids and their parents to pay for being in a school play?

Yes. Harford County, once again, has reiterated that to participate in school plays, the Parents must pay a fee of $100 in order to do so. To play sports, the students/Parents must also pay $100.

tumblr_nxp7x1czkX1qmz4rgo1_540

In fact, the school board hopes that they can get 500 kids to participate in their plays so that they can then pay for the Swim Team!

Now, just paying the fee does not guarantee a role, nor does it guarantee that any coach will play the child on the team or in the pool. Nor should any parent pay ahead of time, because on the off chance you paid, should your child not be ‘chosen’, you will not get a refund.

What does it guarantee?

Nothing except that the school in some small way makes up for it’s incompetent administration of the school budget which is collected from tax payers – and which ‘used to’ be enough, but is no longer enough to fund extra-curricular activities.

tumblr_inline_mfi6c2g1il1r7ppx5

Again – this is the Arts and Physical Activity we are talking about. This concerns the health, happiness, and well being of the children who are forced to attend in this County because this is where they live.

Now, picture yourself either a single parent, or a family on a strict budget. You would like your child to participate in an after school activity, in part, because it would give them something to do after school, and keep them in an academic adjacent setting.

In other words, they would be safe after school.

tumblr_lsvv7gkswp1qh1jr9

Parents no longer all get an option of running to meet the bus the minute it stops and ushering the kids home to cookies and milk. Most Parents have to work. Most school districts realize that, and after school activities are, in part, to develop life-long habits based on physical activity and the Arts, but ultimately to keep kids actively engaged in a positive way.

Because kids without focus can get into trouble – and that is not just stats and studies, that is personal observation from where TFP grew up – which was a very nice Upper Middle Class suburb in New York.

 Any ‘kid’ who is bored, who is unsupervised even peripherally by an adult, is likely to get into harmful situations.

harford-heroin-aab_1697-reduced

(Photo Credit – Howard Sherman)

The kids who do not have an activity after school that is supervised by an adult, have more than enough time to learn how to be rude, be aggressive to one another and to any adults that happen in their way, and frankly – they do not learn to contribute to anything. They learn how to be selfish, because they only have themselves to consider.

tumblr_lw4aylv0yu1qdojzho1_500

When you are in a play, or on a team – and TFP has been participants in both kinds of activities – you learn how to work with others. You learn how to think both as an individual, and to how to contribute to the end result as a whole.

Plays and Musicals are generally not dependent upon one individual, it takes a village – building sets, costumes, setting lights, learning lines, learning staging – none of that happens in a vacuum.

Sports is similar – you can be an outstanding individual player – but that may be in only one position – you cannot play every spot at every time.

rwwblav

One develops not only your ‘outside’ interests in these activities, but they contribute to mental happiness and happier students perform better in schools.

Penalizing the kids because the Adults that are ‘in charge’ are not able to handle the job that they accepted to do, is the wrong attitude.

tumblr_n1itu9WDQA1qlvwnco1_500

Now the School Board will start yelling about Unions and Insurance and Overtime and Electric Bills, New Uniforms…all valid points.

All valid points – but a more valid point is – what is the end goal?

tumblr_lkw693yQOn1qcafht

Education.

Education is the end goal.

tumblr_n2qyhguem41tt0ypwo5_400

Engaged kids perform better – test scores go up. Do not all High Schools and Middle Schools have to maintain a test score standard upon which Federal Funds are granted to them? So if you take away activities that foster individual achievement and goals, which lead to better test scores, aren’t you sinking the academic ship here as well as the after school activities?

Obviously the School Board in this case did not participate on teams or in plays to understand what is actually at stake here – what is at stake are human beings.

Human beings whose minds and bodies could remain closed simply because their Parents have financial strictures in place that cannot accommodate an extra few hundred dollars.

To attempt to make money for the district on the backs of the Artsy kids so that you can pay for the Swim Team to keep the pool open, seems ludicrous.

It seems small minded and honestly – perhaps the School Board should stop penalizing the children who want to participate and their parents – stop looking at them as a ticket to fix budget shortfall and instead get a competent accountant in there to figure out this mess they have gotten themselves into.

tumblr_o7m0drkcnl1v9tk0ao2_400

For choosing to try and make money on the backs of kids, instead of giving those same backs wings so that they can fly into their future – TFP fines the Harford County School Board in Maryland $100 and 100 whacks with the wand – that $100 is their ‘participation fee’ for being idiots.

If you cannot administrate – get someone in there who can and fix this issue.

Your job is not to be the keepers of access to education – it is to PROVIDE education that the tax payers have already paid and voted on.

Do your jobs!

TFP encourages people in the Arts and in Sports and Human Beings in general to go to website of the Harford County School Board and write to the School Board.

Particularly if you are a voter in Harford County, MD.

(Which is looking way less fun than Harper Valley, PTA right now!)

TFP out.

tumblr_o43etoVRdf1ql5yr7o2_500