Letters to the editor

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024
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Letters to the editor

More on 'Unpacking in P'Town'

I recently was present for this wonderfully rousing and thoughtfully written and produced show at New Conservatory Theatre Center. As a person who has a history connected to stories of artists of color and survivors of multiple attacks, I am wounded by the review that was published about the show ["'Unpacking in P'Town' premieres at New Conservatory Theatre Center," March 14].

There are several instances where it is blatantly clear that the writer did not listen to the play — as his ears were most likely already biased in what he thought that play should say and how it should be said. These characters all deliver their histories and what they have been doing since the end of their active careers in Vaudeville. In truth, they all mention it several times in the show.

He says he is surprised that Lydia is "articulate" about her mixed ancestry. And he doesn't think a Black person would be sensitive to use of the word "master" [the reviewer used the term "master bedroom"] as early as 1959! What universe is he in? Oh, yes, a white universe. The revelations of what we do and say (and have done and said in the past) in our lives among ourselves (discussing topics that are just now current to him) is actually revealed in this instance. I remember my parents reacting to the word MASTER throughout my life and I am 70 years old now.

We are and were quite eloquent about our lives, the political realities, and interpersonal relationships — both straight and gay — because we were and are particular artists coming into being in a particular time. Recognizing the depth of the literary and linguistic talents that Jewelle Gomez brought to this work was refreshing and novel and entertaining as well as historic. Who better to tell the stories of Native community and the Black community intersecting than someone who is a product of those relations.

Please let your writer know that his approach to reviewing this show was received and we understand now who he is. You might want to reconsider who he reviews in the future — not being shady, just being aware.

Harry Waters Jr.

St. Paul, Minnesota

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