Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Question for the Candidates

As we all know, there was a debate tonight. Well, I don't know if anyone can quite call it a debate, but issues were tossed back and forth (toss seems like an appropriate word). Anyway, most of you also know that there's one last scheduled debate on Friday, though it won't be televised. The debate just happens to be at UMASS Dartmouth, where I go to school.

So, here's my question for Friday's debate - and it goes to all the candidates.

As a member of the UMASS Dartmouth Theatre Company, I know exactly what it takes to put on a quality show. There's months of rehearsals, hours of memorizing
lines and learning music. You work a second unpaid full-time job (in addition to being a student) - and all for four shows in November or December. My rehearsals for "Urinetown" went from 6-10pm Sunday to Thursday and Saturdays from 10am-3pm - and that was just the beginning.

Knowing that, how do you all feel that the last performance of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" was cancelled by the administration at the last minute for this debate? Would you have agreed to this debate at UMASS if you had known that - or did you know that?

Sadly, no one was more excited than I was that UMASS Dartmouth would be hosting a debate. Subsequently, though, the administration has cancelled the last show of a production that people have worked on for literally months. Meanwhile, the administration had other options (such as the gymnasium that's hosted concerts, comedians and lots of other important events) that could have hosted a debate. Furthermore, the administration has severely limited seating available to students - a problem that would have been alleviated had the forum been in the gym. How outrageous is that? Students essentially aren't invited to the debate, the administration stamps its feet on a student show people poured their hearts into... and they're not even nice about it.

No one loves political races more than I do, but I'm sorry: the people who spent months working on this show didn't deserve this treatment. It's a smack in the face to them, especially when there were other options available. People have to book the auditorium months in advance for these shows - but the administration will cancel a student group on a moment's notice.

Where's the respect?

It's a metaphor for everything that's going wrong at UMASS Dartmouth - a fact I probably won't be so quiet about from now on.


StunnedVoter said...

That's really wrong. It's not like hosting the debate is really going to benefit the school or anything, it's not like they charge admission. That's just messed up.

What is it about Urinetown? Aren't like 3 or 4 schools doing that this year?

Ryan Adams said...

We were actually the first school in the Northeast to do it, but a lot of schools did it soon after.

The reason so many are doing it is because they just opened up the rights to it - and it's a great show that isn't *too* hard to put on (you don't need an expensive set, the music is pretty but not impossible, it's funny, etc.)

Ryan Adams said...

btw - what really outraged me by the whole thing was the fact that there was an email I got on Wednesday from the administration that basically said "by the way, tonight is the last night to see the show because the last one is cancelled for the debate."

It may not have looked as nice to host it in the gym, but it's not even going to be on TV. There have been lots of other events in the gym before and no one else complained, so I don't see why we couldn't have had it there. Furthermore, it's insulting that only a *very small* number of students will get to go. I could have gone, but only through Deval Patrick's people and that's *if* I volunteered for a few hours in the morning. But I had a test during the period anyway.

All in all, it's pretty outrageous - not necessarily for what the administration did, but mostly in the way they did it. It's not the only recent thing the administration has done that illustrates exactly this phenominon.

StunnedVoter said...

I think what the administration did is pretty outrageous.

The show was planned, the dates were booked, tickets were sold, etc. The only reason to cancel a student production like that IMO is in case of an unavoidable last minute emergency. Like you said, they could have held the debate elsewhere, it's just wrong to do that to everyone involved.

About Ryan's Take