Movie Theater Attack: When is America Going to Get Serious About Hatchet Control?

hatchet-drudge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CBS Atlanta/AP) — A suspect wielding a hatchet and a gun inside a Nashville-area movie theater died after exchanging gunshots with a SWAT team that stormed the theater, police said Wednesday.

The suspect, only identified so far as 51-year-old white male, was wearing a surgical mask and was armed with a gun and a hatchet at the Carmike Hickory 8 theater in Antioch, said Don Aaron, a spokesman for Metro Nashville police. The suspect was said to be a local resident. Read the rest of this entry »


Mamet Cease-and-Desist Letter Closes Gender-Reassigned ‘Oleanna’ After One Performance

Alchemist-Theatre-Oleanna-bw.

Known for crafting scripts for the stage and screen with maximum authorial command, David Mamet is the last guy I’d count on to “go with the flow” in a dispute about content.

For the Journal SentinelChris Foran reports:

Milwaukee’s Alchemist Theatre has canceled its production of the David Mamet drama “Oleanna” after one performance after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the playwright’s representatives over the theater company’s decision to cast a male actor in the play’s lead female role.

Violating an author’s material to add new chapters in the gender debate would be a non-issue if the author were a dead white male. They picked a live one. Who better to tango with than a famous successful macho provocateur like David Mamet?

Oleanna,” introduced to audiences shortly after the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, centers on the relationship between a professor and a female student who accuses him of harassment and rape.

In Alchemist’s production, which opened Thursday night, Ben Parman was cast in the role of Carol, the student. David Sapiro plays John, the professor.mamet-tall-bw

In a statement issued Friday evening, Erica Case and Aaron Kopec, owners of Alchemist Theatre, said:

“We excitedly brought this story to the stage because even though it was written years ago, the unfortunate story that it tells is still relevant today. We auditioned for this show looking for the best talent, not looking for a gender. When Ben Parman auditioned we saw the reality that this relationship, which is more about power, is not gender-specific but gender-neutral.”

Blogger Ann Althouse posted an item about this, and asks:

Do you think Mamet overreacted? I’d like to hear his point of view. This seems heavy handed toward regional theater, but I assume the license has terms and the terms were violated. Why didn’t the theater seek permission before committing to this path?

I’d like to hear Mamet’s view, too. At this time (the news of the play’s closure was reported in the journal Sentinel less than 24 hours ago) he’s not made any public comments, but I suspect we’ll see something within a few days. I agree with Althouse when she says,

“…It’s specifically all about the male teacher/female student relationship. If it’s about 2 men, it’s a different story. There’s nothing wrong with telling different stories, bouncing off an old text, and any given production can stand on its own merit, but Mamet owns the rights…”

“Oleanna” is ripe for reinterpretation. Gender elasticity is the preoccupation of our time. For talented writers like Kevin D. Williamson, it’s a lively debate topic. (read his Laverne Cox piece if you haven’t yet, exploding with 8736 Comments) For any number of hack journalists, academics, bloggers, and media figures, it’s an echo chamber. Why not theater people, too? It’s easy to see the temptation. Especially with material like “Oleanna“.

But it’s inconceivable that anyone even casually familiar with Mamet’s work could underestimate this author’s seriousness about precision, fidelity, and creative control. Of all the writers to screw with, David Mamet? Really?

Althouse continues…

“…I suspect he’s angry that he wasn’t asked, but I also think he would have said no, it wrecks his story, and isn’t that probably why they didn’t ask?”

I agree, if asked, Mamet would likely have said no, though he might have invited Alchemist to make its case before declining.

But it wasn’t just that Mamet wasn’t asked. The casting choice was concealed until the curtain went up. It was staged for maximum controversy. Read Erica Case and Aaron Kopec’s statement, see if you think it makes sense.

“We auditioned for this show looking for the best talent, not looking for a gender. When Ben Parman auditioned we saw the reality that this relationship, which is more about power, is not gender-specific but gender-neutral.”

Authors and lawyers are inclined to be more specific.

“We stayed true to each of David Mamet’s powerful words and did not change the character of Carol but allowed the reality of gender and relationship fluidity to add to the impact of the story. We are so very proud of the result, of both Ben and David Sapiro’s talent, and Erin Eggers’ direction.”

Writer and director David Mamet speaks about actors Felicity Huffman and her husband William H. Macy at the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The “reality of gender and relationship fluidity”? This is the kind of postmodern academic gibberish that Mamet brilliantly savages in his plays. What they’re essentially saying is, “we reject the author’s reality, and are substituting our reality.” As Williamson says, “facts are not subject to our feelings.”

Not knowing the details of the contractual agreements involved in staging plays, it’s not clear if Erica Case and Aaron Kopec thought they were taking a calculated risk, and expected to succeed? Or expected to fail, intentionally provoking the author, invitng a shut-down, figuring they’d benefit either way? That they went to “unusual lengths” to conceal their casting gambit suggests an attention-seeking stunt.

Violating an author’s material to add new chapters in the gender debate would be a non-issue if the author were a dead white male. They picked a live one. Who better to tango with than a famous successful macho provocateur like David Mamet?

mamet-lower

Welcome to micro-agression theater.

Chris Foran continues…

Dramatists Play Service, which represents Mamet and which gave Alchemist the rights to produce the play, didn’t see it that way. The firm sent the cease-and-desist letter Friday, the day that reviews of the show appeared online and revealed the company’s casting decision — a decision that the company went to unusual lengths to keep hidden before opening curtain.

Read the rest of this entry »


Rewind: City Pays $25,000 To Man Arrested For Bringing A Gun To Movies

Now that an official Harvard study confirms what we've been saying, and what other studies have shown, all these years, will gun-control advocates get the message, and admit their policies are a failure? Or will they double down, and continue to advocate the same dishonest anti-gun agenda?

For The Daily CallerGreg Campbell reports: A man who was arrested for carrying a holstered handgun into a movie theater a week after the Aurora shootings in 2012 received a $25,000 settlement check from the city of Thornton last week, according to Denver’s 7News.

Jim Mapes had a concealed-carry permit and said he’d carried his gun to the same theater several times in the past. Another theater-goer called 911, saying a man with a weapon had just entered a movie theater. He was originally charged with brandishing the weapon, which Mapes denied.

“It never left my holster,” he told the station. And although the gun was carried openly rather than being concealed, his lawyer said that’s never been against the law in Thornton. Read the rest of this entry »


David Mamet’s Legal Drama ‘Race’ Takes No Prisoners

Race-Mamet

“Race” by David Mamet performed by Next Act Theatre. (l-r) Tiffany Renee Johnson, Jonathan Smoots, David Cecsarini, and Lee Palmer. Credit Timothy Moder

audio-buttonLake Effect’s Bonnie North speaks with Next Theatre’s David Cecsarini, Tiffany Renee Johnson, Lee Palmer, and Jonathan Smoots.

WUWM‘s Elanor Peterson and Bonnie North:

Of all the “isms” that are out there, racism is one of the most enduring, and in this supposedly post-racial age, the most pernicious.

It can be hard for people of different races to even talk openly with each other about how race has impacted them without the conversation devolving into accusations. And that makes any change in race relations that much more difficult to achieve.

audio-buttonListen to a scene from “Race” featuring David Cecsarini and Tiffany Renee Johnson.

Next Act Theatre is throwing open that conversational door with its production of David Mamet’s play Race:

A wealthy white man is accused of assaulting a young black woman. He denies the charge, claiming it was consensual. Two law partners – one white, one black – are considering the case, but they’re doubtful of the man’s veracity, and highly concerned about racial politics. Mamet pulls no punches as he cross-examines our views and prejudices of what is, arguably, the most complex and intransigent socio-political issue in America.

Mamet is known for his biting and unsparing dialogue, and he is true to form here. Director Edward Morgan says the playwright offers a fresh take on the subject.

Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Florida Movie Theater Shooting

Police investegate the crime scene after two people were shot at Wesley Chapel, Florida movie theater. CNN

Police investegate the crime scene after two people were shot at Wesley Chapel, Florida movie theater. CNN

Pasco County police responded to a shooting Monday afternoon at the Grove 16 movie theater in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

A male suspect walked inside the theater at 6333 Wesley Grove Boulevard and opened fire, police said, a local television station reported.

Two victims, a man and a woman, were flown to a Tampa area hospital. Their conditions were not available.

The suspect was arrested inside the theater.

Developing…

Washington Times

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Official: 14-year-old went to Woody Allen Movie after Killing Teacher

WoodyShrugs1A 14-year-old Danvers High School freshman ducked into a darkened movie theater for a matinee of the new Woody Allen movie after authorities say he murdered his popular math teacher and dumped her body in the woods, a law-enforcement source said.

Authorities did not say specifically when they believe Philip D. Chism “assaulted and subsequently murdered” 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer. But the source said it was before he bought a ticket to the 4:30 p.m. Tuesday screening of “Blue Jasmine” at the Hollywood Hits theater in Danvers. Police reported Chism left the theater about an hour and a half later.

The theater manager said Chism “blended right in.”

Boston Herald