Words From the Director

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Grant DeArmitt's response to Katie Hay's review, TKC's Shakespeare Production Funny Yet Unpolished. Last week, I put on a production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

Katie Hay wrote a review of this show.

To the real world, this would have been seen as something that happens when a show is produced. But to the readers of the Empire State Tribune, this was a declaration of war.

Now before I begin what I’m about to say, I should clarify something. I was not happy upon my first reading of the review. I was actually quite upset. I was under a lot of stress, getting over the effects of food poisoning, and therefore not too gracious about hearing any critiques, constructive or not. I made some very hasty, rude comments to those that were around me at that time, and for that I sincerely apologize. I regret my lashing out at the critique, and that those around me, including my friends and family (up for the weekend) had to see it.

And now to why I wrote this article. Meagan Clark, editor of the EST, previously offered me a chance to respond to Katie’s article, to which I declined. I felt I had nothing to say. However, I recently found out that there were personal attacks on Katie’s integrity going around. This is unacceptable to let go, and so I wrote this.

Many of the comments call into question Katie’s sense of humility. To this statement, I’d like to call the reader’s attention to Katie’s claim at the end of the article that this show was a “vast improvement from TKC’s fall production.”I’d like to remind everyone that Katie Hay starred in last semester’s production. Along with this show, she critiques work that she herself was a part of, even going so far as to say that the spring performance was an improvement.

Another consensus among the comments is that Katie doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I hate to break it to you, but she really does. Her credentials are clear at the end of the article she wrote, but I can also personally attest to her knowledge of the theater. I was on set for last fall’s production, and saw that she knew exactly what she was doing. Most of the people who saw the show agree with me. The comments made by readers of Katie’s article, however, don’t seem nearly as educated. One commentator actually referred to me as “Greg D.” Katie Hay has experience in writing theater critiques as well as an education in theater. The people who have been commenting on her integrity seem to not even have picked up one of the show’s programmes.

Does this mean I fully support Katie’s opinion? No, I do disagree with several of the points she makes in it. I also disagree with the Tribune’s choice to run the article before the show had completed its run. However, I am new to directing, and there’s a lot I have to learn. I’m well aware of that.

If you take anything away from my article, please take these facts. 1.) I am not angry at the Tribune or Katie Hay and 2.) This is not your fight. Why? Because it’s not a fight. It’s what happens when a piece of entertainment is produced. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, yes, but attacking the integrity of a writer is unprofessional, immature, and I’d like to say un-Kingsian, but sadly, it’s not. One of the greatest weaknesses this school has is our tendency to take a side of an argument and treat it as seriously as life and death. In our eagerness to fight for a cause, we do this all too often. Perhaps we should take heed to the words of the most controversial philosopher ever to appear on film.

“Why so serious?”

OpinionGrant DeArmitt