May 23, 2024

Letter: ‘Disappointed with the lack of traditional offerings’

August 17, 2022

We are indeed disappointed with the lack of traditional offerings at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. As Mr. Rothschild rightly pointed out, children come from all over to learn from traditional, often Shakespeare, plays. The best traditional plays present the “other” as humans so that we might understand those we normally feel separate from. We feel empathy, love, and equality.

We imagine a very direct offering to those victimized by white privilege and patriarchy: What if OSF made the theater experience more available to the living members of the oppressed and victimized? As audience. As equals. Why not offer deeply discounted, sliding scale prices so that a true diversity of audience could enjoy the beauty and learning these traditional plays offer? Those play-attending, privileged, guilty-feeling whites might help atone for their sins with a simple donation process to support this?

Wouldn’t that go further in the universe than the shame and judgment that the “woke” plays seem to trade in — besides their laudable human celebration of those often left out of traditional culture?

One unfortunate side effect of the “woke agenda” seems to be fear of open discussion, to which this forum might provide an antidote.

Perhaps we are missing something about the importance of these plays, and in the spirit of learning and discussion, we are listening.

Mary Lou Bayliss, Andy Bayliss


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Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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