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When A Utah Mother Complained About A Gay Kiss At A Local Play, This Theater Company Gave The PERFECT Response! Read It And Feel Proud HERE!

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utah mother complains about a gay kiss

This is EVERYTHING!

A mother in Utah wrote a scathing letter to a local theater company called Pioneer Theatre Company at the the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City over one of the productions she witnessed there!

That play was Deathtrap by Ira Levin, which left the woman in utter horror after a gay kiss was performed. Something which made her even madder considering her son was there!

Well, this "patron of the arts" wrote how she thought there should've been a warning about the gay kiss on the playbill, and also asked for a full refund! Especially since she left around intermission! Part of her letter read:

"I am appalled that you could not have simply stated: homosexual content. I have NEVER been so disgusted and infuriated! I was livid. I know your ticket sales clerk and manager are not responsible, and they handled the situation well. I had read and reread the content advisory to make sure it would be suitable to have my teenage son attend. I anticipated that he would appreciate the suspense, intrigue, plot twists, and mystery. The decision on the theatre’s part not to divulge repulsive content was irresponsible and negligent! You have that responsibility to your patrons."

Well, the managing director Chris Lino not only had the perfect response for this lady, but also posted the whole exchange on the Pioneer Theatre Company's Facebook page! And it's awesome!

Here's part of the goodness that he wrote:

"You object to the kissing, but not to the fact that they’re murderers? You are comfortable with your son witnessing an enacted murder, but not a same-sex kiss? In both cases, it’s just make-believe, but how is a play that depicts murder, whether it’s a contemporary murder-mystery like Deathtrap or an immortal tragedy like Macbeth,' morally acceptable while the depiction of a fairly innocuous, albeit same-sex kiss, is totally unacceptable?"

Get 'em!

We LOVE that this director took the time to respond to this insaneness! Too many times we ignore situations like this, and sometimes that just makes it worse!

That didn't happen this time around!!!

Read the original letter and response (below) !!!

"It's not unusual for PTC to receive complaint letters: when you are performing for 12,000-15,000 people per production, you undoubtably will not please everyone.

Thoughts?

Take a few minutes and read this customer's complaint and see what you think. WARNING: This might ruffle your feathers… in one direction or other! AND the discussion centers around an incident that can be considered a spoiler.

Chris [Lino, Managing Director],

I trusted you! I have been a season ticket holder for 10 years and in the past have appreciated the quality of the acting and set design. I love the theatre and have taken my children to the theatre in hopes that they too will love it and continue to support the ARTS.

I am normally calm, mild-mannered, and don’t get upset, but last night, at the close of the first act of Deathtrap, I was infuriated with the explicit, homosexual display on stage because I had brought my teenage son to see the seemingly innocuous play. I based my decision to take my teenage son upon the content advisory you provided. In the past, I have appreciated the content advisories, and I have relied upon them to make attendance decisions. I realize that, unfortunately, you feel you must appeal to an insignificant minority of patrons by offering “edgy” material. I regret that you feel that way. I have wasted many tickets the last two years by choosing NOT to attend plays that were offensive and vulgar.

Because I relied on the content advisory, I am infuriated this evening. I felt compelled to walk out immediately, but had been taught etiquette as a child (my seat is [REDACTED]). It took all of my self control as I fumed in my seat for the long minute before intermission. Why was brazen homosexual content not included in the advisory?

As I left at intermission, I talked to your employees in the ticket booth asking for upper management, but you were not available. When I inquired as to why that content was left out of the advisory I was told that it would “ruin the plot.” Ruin the plot?! You ruined my evening, ruined my trust in you, and you ruined the trust my son has in me to find worthwhile entertainment for him. I feel sick about tonight.
I am appalled that you could not have simply stated: homosexual content. I have NEVER been so disgusted and infuriated! I was livid. I know your ticket sales clerk and manager are not responsible, and they handled the situation well. I had read and reread the content advisory to make sure it would be suitable to have my teenage son attend. I anticipated that he would appreciate the suspense, intrigue, plot twists, and mystery. The decision on the theatre’s part not to divulge repulsive content was irresponsible and negligent! You have that responsibility to your patrons.

Please refund my money for this last evening’s performance as well as Sweet Charity as we will not be using our tickets. Thank you in advance. My real desire is that you could erase the images in my son’s mind and in mine.

Please send my refund to:
[REDACTED]

I hope my feedback will prompt you to include ALL potentially offensive content in the advisory in the future!

RESPONSE:
Dear [REDACTED]—

I received your e-mail, and am sorry that you were offended by the kissing scene.

We did not include the scene in the content advisory for two reasons:

1. It is indeed a major plot revelation in a murder mystery that relies entirely on plot twists for suspense, revealing the motive for the murder that has just occurred; to include it would have revealed a plot point that would have spoiled the show for patrons.

2. I did not think it rose to the level of requiring an advisory. You describe the content as “edgy,” and there are indeed times we do produce edgier material (this year’s Other Desert Cities or last season’s Clybourne Park come to mind, for which I believe we go to great pains to provide content advisories), but in this day and age I hardly think Deathtrap, a forty year old play, or a brief kiss by two men (there is no other sexual activity of any kind in the play) qualifies as edgy.

I have to ask, and I do so in all sincerity: In putting on Deathtrap, we are “play acting,” and in this particular play we show two characters carrying out a cold-blooded murder, and then we show them kissing as the motivation for the murder. You object to the kissing, but not to the fact that they’re murderers? You are comfortable with your son witnessing an enacted murder, but not a same sex kiss? In both cases, it’s just make-believe, but how is a play that depicts murder, whether it’s a contemporary murder-mystery like Deathtrap or an immortal tragedy like Macbeth, morally acceptable while the depiction of a fairly innocuous, albeit same-sex kiss, is totally unacceptable? The script doesn’t ask you to condone either the murder or the kiss; despite what you imply, we’re not promoting a homosexual agenda in producing Deathtrap; if anything, since the two characters who kiss are the villains of the piece, the kiss becomes part of their villainy, and both characters get their comeuppance in the second act.

Based on your letter, I anticipate that I might receive several more on this subject. (I half expect to get other letters of complaint from other patrons who accuse the play of “gay bashing” by revealing the character’s murderous impulses to be a function of their homosexuality—I’ve learned in twenty-three years that there’s nothing we can do that won’t offend somebody). Even if that happens—even if I get twenty letters– the vast majority of our patrons will enjoy the show and regard the kissing “reveal” as a shocking but satisfying plot twist. In that circumstance—if the majority of our patrons don’t feel “betrayed” by our not mentioning the kiss—I would not tell you you’re wrong to be offended, but I would ask you to consider who we’re writing the advisories for: the 80-90% of our patrons who aren’t offended by the element in question, or the 10-20% who are?

In any event, I don’t expect to persuade you to my point of view, even if I don’t understand yours. Clearly, for you, the depiction of a same sex kiss is offensive—you use the word “repulsive”– and you are right that we did not warn you that that would be in the play.
On that basis, I will be glad to refund you the price of your tickets to Deathtrap and will instruct my Patron Services Manager to process a refund.

I will not refund your tickets for Sweet Charity. You are free to use them yourself, give them away, or return them to the theatre for a tax deductible donation.

It sounds as if you have been unhappy with many of our productions, since you write that you’ve wasted many tickets over the past few seasons by not attending plays that you describe as offensive and vulgar, and it sounds as though you wish to discontinue your association with the theatre.

On your instructions, I will advise our marketing and box office staffs to place a “Do Not Contact” note on your records, and will release your season tickets for sale for next season. I always hate to lose a patron, but it is, I’ve found, better to lose a patron than risk betraying her trust and offending her repeatedly, something we have apparently done in your case.

Sincerely,
Chris Lino"

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13 comments to “When A Utah Mother Complained About A Gay Kiss At A Local Play, This Theater Company Gave The PERFECT Response! Read It And Feel Proud HERE!”

  1. loriso says – reply to this


    1

    Omg, perfect response. Seriously, is she living in a cave, or does she not realize that 75% of the theater community is gay? It's like people who get pissed off when Disney world has Gay Days. Hello, who do you think the people/staff are who dance with your kids in the parade? Hint, they're gay! If you're truly against gays you'd avoid the theater and places like Disney altogether.



  2. 2

    Too conserva-tarded for the arts? Methinks yes….



  3. 3

    Most of the conservatives live their life in a box and don't see the bigger picture of the real world … Great respond very well indeed !

  4. Riki says – reply to this


    4

    Megyn Kelly, really needs to stop-First no Black Santa now no gay kiss… (noted sarcasm) but on a serious note, that customer was ridiculous….-Murderers get more respect? What in the world- the things that people will accept,hurts so deeply-That customer is crazy- he made incredible points… her ignorance speaks loudly-its cool to have your beliefs-freedom of speech-but why are those so vocal…and so passionate about their points… usually the ones that are completely ignorant? She is afraid of the wrong things-when you look forward to death and murder as exciting- but a kiss disgusts you to the core- your priorities and outlook on life, really need a new focus- hopefully being cultured and going to theater-amongst "the not so striaght" Theater community- have taught her children some form of acceptance of those that are different-that they are equal too- and teaches her children to be better than she is….so sad:(

  5. Default Setting says – reply to this


    5

    An excellent point. More of us need to speak out about violence too. We have become indoctrinated to put up with 'anything.'

  6. Ding Dong Donny says – reply to this


    6

    I think the mother has a very valid point
    A notice should have been posted stating the gay kiss
    Do you remember the Oprah movie The Butler ?
    Well they mentioned that smoking was in the film, as a warning to viewers



  7. 7

    Re: Ding Dong Donny

    Did you miss the part of his letter where he explains revealing the kiss would have spoiled a major plot point? And seriously, who the hell needs a warning about a kiss? ANY kiss? Welcome to the 21st century, people! Come on in! It truly is a sad state of affairs where murder doesn't offend, but a 2 second kiss does.

  8. Whadaya know says – reply to this


    8

    Re: Ding Dong Donny – You must be the only Pilgrim on this site.

  9. Kestrel says – reply to this


    9

    Re: Whadaya know – The bigoted people here are unacceptable. YOUR religious views (because they can only be based on religion where it is sold as an abomination! ) should in no way affect my enjoyment of the theater. Remember, the church and state are separated so the normal citizens can find and respect the love couples share - and should try to emulate even more of rather than continued promiscuity which, I'm sure, you didn't find nearly as reprehensible.
    If you're son is truly traumatized then you have FAILED as a parent for not preparing him for the real world. But the LDS doesn't so that anyway. They keep them in the dark so the skids don't question your foolishness. The followers of religions tend to be less educated, MORE likely to divorce and MORE apt to have Ana bortion. Your hipocrisy will damage your kid more than a kiss ever would.
    Personally, I think the greatest thing to happen to you would be to one day stand at a ceremony and see your son kiss his husband. Tell your god to eff off. He's a mean, torturous, murderous sky fairy and his followers are merely those people to weak to think for themselves. Religion exists because science is just too hard for some people to manage.

  10. Sarah says – reply to this


    10

    Perfect response from the director. While the woman who wrote the letter is entitled to her views, it's sad that she is not only carrying the hate and bigotry in her own heart but also passing it on to her children. I feel sorry for them and hope that they will overcome being taught hatred. We should all pray for those children and for the mother that they find enlightenment and learn the true meaning of compassion and acceptance.

  11. lala1123 says – reply to this


    11

    I live in Utah this kind of stuff happens all the time!!! It's sad really…..I love the response tho it was perfect :)

  12. tsl says – reply to this


    12

    I agree with the mother. As a theater professional I am sad the gay community is pushing audiences away from attending theater by constantly using every opportunity, whether part of the story or not, to present a gay agenda by inserting gay couples everywhere - even when clearly not the original intent of the writer. I think theater in general and those of us hoping to build audiences for the future will lose audiences because of these choices which are alienating many people from an art form already struggling to stay afloat today.

  13. Joseph says – reply to this


    13

    Re: tsl – First off, 'inserting' these kinds of scenes everywhere is probably making these kinds of plays/movies/tv scenes MORE realistic. Many people may not be that accepting of the LGBT community but they can't be so ignorant as to think that we've never existed. LGBT people have ALWAYS existed and ALWAYS played a part in history whether at the forefront or in secret. Also, when it comes to the example of this particular play, you clearly didn't read that hard considering that the manager says right in his letter that the play itself has existed for FOURTY YEARS. It's like people who fall in love with A Streetcar Named Desire where SPOILER: Tennessee Williams writes about Blanche's husband killing himself over (what the audience is supposed to assume) is his homosexual lifestyle, and then Stanley rapes her and then convinces everyone she's crazy so they have to send her away! Your ignorance and obvious ineptitude for understanding the way people actually work whether in real life or the theater/movie industry is astounding.