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Edison Turns against me as they did With Anne Vaccaro, T.R. Ruddick and anyone who directs productions at Edison for any extended time. I decided to publish all my notes here. In secret except you who have the will to dig deeper. Those that this is about and choose to put me on the opposite side would never look or even extend beyond their status quo. So as long as you keep this between you and me I'll keep you informed.

Recent to this year
Dec 2003 - Acting I class performs 15minute Hamlet  for their final. Patti Speelman, director of Gateway Arts and teacher of the class moves the production to Cameo Theater in Sidney because they were denied use of the theater. There was days open but they were denied use. They were offered a nursing class room on the far side of the building. Patti felt they deserved a theater to perform in and they did. I recently was questioned by a respected member of the community whose child was in several of my productions. " ...Why is no one using the Edison theater anymore? I noticed that the Edison mini-Hamlet show is going to be in Sidney, and your puppet show is at the hotel. It's too bad that their facilities can't be used." The community is noticing and your false front will not last. I have walked away so you can not blame me. But you will repeat with Vivian Blevans proving everything I have said and written. Lets see if the fall production occurs. 

I predict they will cancel the Theater Degree program citing the unsuccessfulness of the program and the lack of graduates from the program. Not taking into consideration how they have completely sabotaged the program and blaming everyone except themselves for the failure of the program. 

Theater is held in that back storage building separate from the college building. The one in the way back near the Piqua Football field. As faraway as possible without going to another facility. Where they are not seen or heard. 

The college is still trying as part of their fundraising program "Capital Funds Project" to receive funds for a performing arts center. Which could be rented out to the community like the other theater is thus making more $$$ for the college and allow them to reduce tuition and pay higher administrative wages.  

Oct 2003 - Edison is no longer endorsing the Piqua Players. I told them in meeting that it would not work out because the organization was unstable. Which has proved out. They try to start a new program under Vivian Blevans. Vivian is now finding a lot  of opposition. She tried to do a children's theater program that would travel to the schools and was told no. Their still has of yet been an official theater production performed by students. 

Sept 2003 - Anne Vaccaro is no longer in charge of the theater department after 6years of directing it.  The department was handed over to the Commercial Art Department teacher and then when the Teachers Union said this was not acceptable they turned it over to a board led by Vivian Blevans who was the director of the most famous and wonderful productions performed at Urbana University....nobody has ever heard of her productions and the one I went to...Was not an Anne Vaccaro production. It ranked with community theater. Ok I'll give her a chance but I predict that she will have even less success in getting a production off the ground in this unfertile environment. 

 

Reprimand:
Feb. 24, 2003
  Notes from meeting with Matt Williams and Sandy Brubaker concerning Children’s Theater

·        Matt’s web site as posted last week was unprofessional and not the image that Edison wants presented on a public domain web site.

·        Matt chose to take the web site down on Friday, Feb. 21, and apologized for the incident.

·        It was stated that any similar reoccurrence would eliminate any future employment opportunities for Matt with Edison Community College.

·        Any future promotional material from Matt must receive approval from Sandy before distribution and campus posting.

·        All future work will be on a consulting basis with signed contracts describing the work to be completed.

·        Any monies collected from productions would be accounted for through approved student club procedure under the supervision of the student activities coordinator.

·        A detailed proposal of any summer children’s theater program must be submitted to Sandy Brubaker for approval and contract preparation.

My Response to being Demonized and lied about to upper administration:

Keith,

I want it understood that I told Kathy Clifton about the web notes and had her review to see. I told her and no one would had noticed if I hadn't told on myself. It wasn't done in secret or done with malice and I wish you had read them for much of it was true. When I saw you in the hall I had told you what I had wrote and wanted to ask you about using your notes.

The problem with journals is it doesn't let the public know what is going on when they came to expect another production. I have parents, regulars who come to the shows and children who wanted to be in the productions. I have in place a very effective self-publicity engine.

Edison should have made a statement telling parents, students, consultants and made those statements public. An article in the paper, ect. The way it was handled was unprofessional. If they had made a statement then they could control the message that was getting out. They instead opted to do what they did to create it so that I had to do my own publicity in the first place - Nothing.

A unilateral decision made without discussion or consultation. This is not servant leadership. Edison talks about how they want to be a part of the community, I am a part of that community. Yes I have been at Edison, have given my energy and my heart. I have been a part of the Edison family and have grown in this family. I love Edison and I feel it should love me back. Now I have a codependent relationship. Instead of doing one of my projects that makes me money I am again spending my energy on this very unfortunate situation.

The consultant fee was $200/a production. I make $200 for a 45minute puppet show. A production usually consisted of 10hrs a week for the period of 3 to 1 month. I didn't donate money but I am one of Edison's largest contributors in time. I feel that the administration doesn't care. I don't appreciate how theater was treated at Edison. Anyone who has seen a production and knows what is truly going on is not happy with how it was handled. It is unfortunate that Edison doesn't see that it is a college of missed opportunities and it will create consequences with the bad karma no matter what mask it wears or what image that you try to create.

When I was 14 I had won the Science Fair for State in Engineering. The year previous I did a complex solar cooker with true research and application. I just got an honorable mention. I observed the ones that won and the projects were a joke, the research was false and sometimes incomplete, but they were displayed very pretty. Their parents had obviously helped them. So the next year I did "The weight to strength ratio of composite structures". I made bridges out of balsa wood and broke them with weights. I only made three bridges and broke one. The research was erroneous and the content was lacking. But I did my presentation on foam board and used red and blue stripes with red, white, and blue letters. I won.
You might say I learned a lesson of how the world works. Quite on the contrary I learned how valueless the Science Fair was.

Image is not more important than content.

Please add this to your paper and the file that you have on me. Please pass on to superiors who are aware of this incident, that never had to be an incident.

I am now done with it

Matthew Williams
Producer
Never-Neverland Productions

Theater at Edison Community College - My full rant.

"Rapunzel" is canceled. With the change of administration at Edison Community College ushered a change in  Children's Theater at Edison Community College. First During the summer of 2002 a student production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" was told they could not perform at Edison Community College. Then The Shakespeare was Cancelled for the following Year but could be done during the summer.  The Children's Theater still performed "A Christmas Carol" to critical acclaim in December but then when The dates and times were being approved for  "Rapunzel" it was decided they didn't have the space.
I had requested the use of the tech lounge but was told they didn’t want to impose upon the “Student’s Space” except that student space is one of the spaces listed for rental by the college.

Difficulty of Space has been citied as an issue. There has been no provisions even made for space. There is room at certain times but their is a lack of effort made in finding accommodations and with the small theater being torn down their should had been made other alternatives offered. The small theater sits empty still and it is end of semester.  The large theater regularly sits empty. The true behind all the rhetoric is they don’t want to be bothered with the problems associated with theater and running a theater program.

What they wanted to do was confine the theater program to the summer. Anne Vaccaro couldn’t do Shakespeare in the summer because that is when she takes her vacation. I took what I could, a summer production, even though this is not what I wanted.

Edison wants what they have done hush-hush because they are trying to get money for a performing arts theater. They feel that their actions if known about will jeopardize their ability to get this space. They feel that it is too much trouble to have a theater program. They effectively get rid of what they fell is a nuisance to their rental program to ask for more space to rent. They looked bad with the rental space being more important than a theater program. So they removed what made them look bad instead of finding ways to accommodate or changing their priorities.

 

When I first published on my website what was going on I was told I should had written it in a journal. The problem with journals is it doesn't let the public know what is going on when they came to expect another production. I have parents, regulars who come to the shows and children who wanted to be in the productions. I have in place a very effective self-publicity engine.

Edison should have made a statement telling parents, students, consultants and made those statements public. An article in the paper, ect. The way it was handled was unprofessional. If they had made a statement then they could control the message that was getting out. They instead opted to do what they did to create it so that I had to do my own publicity in the first place - Nothing.

A unilateral decision made without discussion or consultation. This is not servant leadership. Edison talks about how they want to be a part of the community, I am a part of that community. A very vocal part. I have the perspective of a student who has been there along time. It seems that you might value that opinion. The opinion is I would have trouble recommending your college. Yes I have been at Edison, have given my energy and my heart. I have been a part of the Edison family and have grown in this family. I love Edison and I feel it should love me back. Now I have a codependent relationship.

After I wrote my first web article about this then the provisions were made. I gave the administrator who made this proposal two weeks. The advertising for Kids College was going out and we were going to miss the deadline for advertising.  I contacted Kids College rep to find out nothing had been done. After my meeting then it set up to do a show but then they used the meeting as a opportunity to demonize me. As if it was never the intention of having any summer program. It was used to give them an out of the who program and then they could say it wasn’t them who dissolved the program. They have a file on me. I refer to them as they because I publish the names of people I have conflicts with. I just publish the conflict.  They have chosen to make me an enemy rather than work things out.

 

The reason I have trouble recommending the college:

I have seen incident after incident of unilateral not caring. Administrators don’t come to shows. The students don’t know who they are. Using lower administrators to do unfavorable undiscussed decisions. Decisions from above.

 

Unilateral not caring for teachers. Program money and information kept. A battle having to in sue to do anything at the college.

What the Account Said:
During the Dress Rehearsal of MacBeth. The day before performance the actors were kicked out of room 057. The Accountant wanted to have a meeting in this room but it was scheduled for the greenroom. When he came in the room and demanded that they "GET OUT" they told him that they were scheduled for the room. He then proceeded to tell them that "ANNE VACCARO doesn't run this school"  and that the woman who schedules the room works for him. 
This same accountant has had problems with the Teacher's Union time and time again. Where they have to come close to suing the school for information that should be released to the Union. I believe this account has power issues that are inappropriate for an institute of higher learning and he is allowed to exercise more power than should be given to an accountant.

 

When this matter is brought up. We are told this is the past but it was never dealt with. And this is a prevailing attitude which I have seen again and again.

 

·        Uneven distribution of funds. The President of the college makes 150,000 a year to administrate and is 4th highest paid president of a college in the state and that is including much larger colleges with much larger enrollment. The teachers are the lowest paid in the state. Teachers at the JVS make more than college professors at Edison.

 

·        Opposition in all things. If anything is done it requires a jumping through hoops. A lot of hoops. During the staging of “RumpleStiltskin” we were bumped from the small theater because we “Filled out the wrong colored form.” Then we had to use the tech lounge. The meeting we were bumped for had four people come to it. We had moved the bails of hey and the sets down to the tech lounge. That night the 3rd shift maintance man angry with the hay put all the bails back in the theater. That morning I arrived an hour before the first group was to arrive to set up my sound equipment to find that I had to move the bails of hay back. That show was the worst I ever have done. The time it took to again get ready little details were missed. We even started the show late. The puppet tent fell down, someone had messed with it. This off set the performance of the actors. Fortunately the children still had fun. I gave a reduced rate to the childcare. But if things go wrong they blame the Director.

After this is when Linda Versailles and Anne Vaccarro set up a stiffen for me to do the productions. I have been very good natured and put up with many of these set backs over and over again. Just to be stepped on with a change in policy. I refer to doing a production at Edison as pulling teeth. I always figured, If I could do a production here I could do it anywhere.

This is the exact reason that Patti Speelman will not direct a production here. That and the game that is played with the space.

Needless to say, my set pieces got lighter and lighter with every production.

 

When Anne Vaccaro wanted to take the Art Department down to down town Piqua to the JC Penny Building and the Old Theater. The project was turned down because they serve a Tri-county area and centralizing in Piqua went against that. But when they fell under criticism for actions against the theater program now they endorse the Piqua Players as an extension of their organization. Truth is there is one Edison student in the production. Many of the Edison students that couldn’t do “Arsenic and Old Lace” went to Piqua Players and Edison was one of the supporting organizations, only in name, then.
I guess they are selective when they want to centralize in a certain community.

It has been cited that the theater program was a lot of …Problems. What they don’t realize that most of all problems have been generated by their unwillingness to make provision or even to provide proper space.

·        Fog machines setting of the fire alarm – Other true theaters that I have worked at didn’t have this problem. But the theater at Edison was not properly set up as a theater. There is little to no back stage. The room is set up backwards acoustically. If they want a new theater space so bad they should take the label off the door that reads “Theater” and change it to “Multipurpose Room” because that is what they built. I imagine the reason they don’t do that is the person who donated the money for this space would possibly be unhappy to find how the space is truly used.

·        Rental is more important that theater productions. This contributor to Edison would probably be unhappy to find out that it is more important to rent the space than it is to be used for student functions. A complete loss of focus to anyone that has had contact with the theater program. The way in which it is handled has left students with the feeling that Edison is more interested in their money than in them. If this is not true then do something to prove me wrong.

·        Children’s theater has a set piece fall – The children’s theater would go for months not getting cleaned. Housekeeping found it a trouble to clean it without being reminded. I complained, another group had used the room and had left it trashed. We had a performance where childcares were coming in.  In retaliation they moved all my set pieces and props. It wasn’t the stage that was dirty. One of my set pieces that was nailed into the back stage divider had been unhinged and then place back into place. We hadn’t realized that had happened until the day of the show. When the flat came down on childcare kids during the production.

·        Hansel and Gretal not a nice story. Someone in an administrative role at Edison felt that Hansel and Gretal was not a story for children. This someone seems to be very alone in this opinion.

·        The dropped vial of Hydrochloric Acid. Anne Vaccaro had bought an old medicine vial from a garage sale in Piqua. The stopper was glued shut. We used it for “Romeo & Juliet”. One day when things were being moved around in the prop room this vial fell and broke. Someone had to be called in to remove the hazardous substance. Anne Vaccaro had to seek medical attention because it was dripped on her. The Art wing had to be closed off until the material was removed.
I have told this story to other college theater programs and they all had similar stories to tell. You would never think that someone would sell this kind of thing at a garage sale.

Confined to the summer

However, it was decided that Edison has room for it during the summer with conjunction of the College for Kids Program. Except no one checked to see if that was o.k. with college for kids.

Matt,
While we can include the children’s theatre information in our brochure, it will not actually fall under the kids college umbrella, as it does not fit the parameters of the program.  If you wish us to include the information, please get it to me by Friday so that the kids college committee can begin our brochure development.  Please include information on the ECC employee who will be responsible for that and their contact information.  You have mentioned both Anne V. and Dr. Bob, so I am not sure who is working with you to coordinate the program.  Let me know.

Feel free to submit it via email if you wish.  I will be in and out all week with meetings, etc.
Thanks
XXXXX 

  

Webpage article Inflammatory

I published what was going on. All elements of that original webpage are in this page.

My first article on my webpage. I was called into a meeting and:

 Feb. 24, 2003

 

From the Email sent to me:

Notes from meeting with Matt Williams and Sandy Brubaker concerning Children’s Theater.

 

·        Matt’s web site as posted last week was unprofessional and not the image that Edison wants presented on a public domain web site.

·        Matt chose to take the web site down on Friday, Feb. 21, and apologized for the incident.

·        It was stated that any similar reoccurrence would eliminate any future employment opportunities for Matt with Edison Community College.

·        Any future promotional material from Matt must receive approval from Sandy before distribution and campus posting.

·        All future work will be on a consulting basis with signed contracts describing the work to be completed.

·        Any monies collected from productions would be accounted for through approved student club procedure under the supervision of the student activities coordinator.

·        A detailed proposal of any summer children’s theater program must be submitted to Sandy Brubaker for approval and contract preparation.

 

 

They took this meeting as an opportunity to make it so I couldn’t do anything more at the college. They used this again creating their own reality so as to push their agenda that if looked at could not stand.

I want it understood that I told Kathy Clifton about the web notes and had her review to see. Kathy Clifton is the faculty member who is to support the Children’s Theater. I told her and no one would had noticed if I hadn't told on myself. It wasn't done in secret or done with malice (as Edison has done) and I wish you had read them for much of it was true. I told the Administrator in the hall about using his notes as the reasons Edison was doing what it was doing to the theater program. They didn’t want this published. It was better to keep everyone confused and unable to disagree.

 

The consultant fee was $200/a production. I make $200 for a 45minute puppet show. A production usually consisted of 10hrs a week for the period of 3 to 1 month. I didn't donate money but I am one of Edison's largest contributors in time. I feel that the administration doesn't care. I don't appreciate how theater was treated at Edison. Anyone who has seen a production and knows what is truly going on is not happy with how it was handled. It is unfortunate that Edison doesn't see that it is a college of missed opportunities and it will create consequences with the bad karma no matter what mask it wears or what image that you try to create.

 

Image more important that the truth.

When I was 14 I had won the Science Fair for State in Engineering. The year previous I did a complex solar cooker with true research and application. I just got an honorable mention. I observed the ones that won and the projects were a joke, the research was false and sometimes incomplete, but they were displayed very pretty. Their parents had obviously helped them. So the next year I did "The weight to strength ratio of composite structures". I made bridges out of balsa wood and broke one with weights. I only made three bridges and broke one. The research was erroneous and the content was lacking. But I did my presentation on foam board and used red and blue stripes with red, white, and blue letters. I won.
You might say I learned a lesson of how the world works. That image is more important to content. Quite on the contrary I learned how valueless the Science Fair was.

Image is not more important than content.

Please add this to your paper and the file that you have on me. Please pass on to superiors who are aware of this incident, that never had to be an incident.

I am now done with it. Keep your “Image” because that is all you have now.

 

Edison's Reasons
for Confining the Children's Theater to Summer

Meeting to discuss Children's Theater
Feb 6th, 2003

Children's Theater offered during Fall or Spring Semesters

Facility Issues:

Very busy time for the college with academic year programs and students.

Emphasis on academic programs: course offerings, and adult students needs.

Physical space for all programs is very difficult to accommodate.

 Administrative Issues:

System for accountability of student paid fees for the program is not recognized by the auditors.

Supervision of the program and liability issues that the college would be asked to assume: no employee of the college responsible while the children are on campus.

Release of students to those other than parents.

Children's Theater offered during summer

Facility Issues:

Considerably more physical space for the program and availability of outdoor areas.

College has planned for young children on campus with "Kids College" program in place.

Administrative Issues:

Children's Theater is an offering of the recognized "Kids College" program.

Payment of fees is in place and recognized by the auditors.

Payment of instructor is in place and recognized by the auditors.

Fewer liability issues because instructors is recognized as employee of the college.

Promotion and Marketing is in place and provided by the college.

More potential children are available for the program during the summer.

 

I have problems with the issued reasons and for the following reasons:

Children's Theater offered during Fall or Spring Semesters

Facility Issues:

Very busy time for the college with academic year programs and students. 

Emphasis on academic programs: course offerings, and adult students needs.

Physical space for all programs is very difficult to accommodate.

The Children's Theater has been a part of the Acting credit in the Acting I Class. We have had 1-8 Acting students in our productions every year except for the last two productions where the Acting I Class had been cancelled due to a lack of enrollment. This year, this semester there was an acting class and with the Shakespeare being put on a shelf, Children's Theater was going to be the acting credit. Someone seemed to think that it was appropriate for an acting student to go to the local community theater to do the acting lab credit. I'm sure if Sinclair or Clark State, who both have productions all year, reads this they would find it laughable. Anybody in professional theater would see our program as inadequate in preparing students for  the outside world. A career in theater is hard enough without further adding to the mediocrity.

It is a common misconception that Art is the ability to draw on paper and put it on the refrigerator.  So this misconception also exist for theater. If I memorize lines and repeat them on a stage that is theater. This is not true. It would be like doing a few addition and subtraction problems and calling myself a Mathematician or Doing some plumbing and calling myself a Scientist or balancing my checkbook and calling myself an Accountant. Art is the understanding of forms and the communication of forms, colors and use of space. The better the articulation the higher the art form. It is the difference of the "Mona Lisa" and Graffiti on the wall. It is the difference of "Water Lilies" and an eight year old picture of a flower. There is though and execution of an idea. The concept of art has been muttled by people calling crap, art. Theater is the same. It is the use of self to articulate form, character and substance of personality. It dives into the motivations that are behind all action. It is the practical use of psychology and character development. It is the true exploration of self and what it is to be human. Community Theater is the lower form especially that presented in this area who does not understand or had limited exposure to.

 

We have had Students go from this program to go and do great things:
Brian Swineheart - Took Acting I at Edison, performed the part of the prince in "How to Pick a Princess". Went to L.A. and has been in several television shows and movies.
Krysten Schietz - Took Acting I at Edison, Performed in "How to Pick a Princess" and "Reviving Cinderella". Going to a Theater School in New York.
Jaime Gusching - One of our youth performers, She Performed in "RumpleStiltskin", "Reviving Cinderella" Summer and Fall Cast and was a storm maiden in "Hansel and Gretal. She is presently performing "Wizard of Oz" she is playing "The Wicked Witch of the West" at Lehman's High School.
Sadie Bowman - Took Acting I at Edison, Performing in "How to Pick a Princess". She has received her Bachelor in Theater at Minnesota State. She has presently directed a production of “Lysistrata”.

Jason Grigsby – Completed an Associate at Edison, Did Internship with Shakepeare & Co. (Lenox, Ma)

Jennifer Hill - Took Acting I at Edison, Performed in "Hansel and Gretal". She is a Radio personality on Bowling Green's Radio Station. 
Matthew Williams - Took Acting I, Directing Shakespeare, Creative Writing with a slant to Playwriting at Edison. I have to add myself. I have a successful part-time business in Children's Theater and Puppet Shows. I am the Stage manager for Gateway Arts, Cameo Theater in Sidney, Ohio. Owns part-time business “Never-Neverland Productions. Where I do Puppet shows and children’s workshops.

 

These are the fruits just after 5years. Just a few that I can name off the top of my hat <sic>. There are many more but these are a few very specific that I can think of.
 

 Administrative Issues:

System for accountability of student paid fees for the program is not recognized by the auditors.

Supervision of the program and liability issues that the college would be asked to assume: no employee of the college responsible while the children are on campus.

Release of students to those other than parents.

 

I have problems with the issued reasons and for the following reasons:

This is how out of touch the administrative issues are: There are no student fees. The alleged liability issues can be circumvented either by hiring me or having me give a 15% commission back to the college to pay rent. Easily solved.
I do workshops at Troy-Hayner and Gateway Arts and there is no liability issue. It could be said "WE DON'T WANT TO BE LIABLE FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN". But that is not true with a childcare on campus with Science Olympia on premises, and other children's activities. Some of them not regulated by a hired employee of the college, Until recently.
Students are not released to anyone but parents and they would know that if they asked me directly. I have worked 3years on and off in Childcare and know how to be safe.

Not recognized by the Auditor: 
The Auditor, knows how things are set up using the Theater Club which. He chooses to have a small memory. It is money he cannot control because it is done through the Theater Club. Before all money from a production went into the general fund so that it was impossible to buy Stage lights, props, costumes and materials without having to go through a lot of red tape and even then we could be denied. I came up with a way so we could buy what we needed with the profits we made. I proposed doing it through the clubs. By the charter they are allowed to have monies, have fund raisers and take donations. They could act independently of the College accountant. A deal was struck where 1/2 went into the college's general fund and the other 1/2 went into the Theater Club's account. If this is not recognized by the auditor then their is another way to account for it. This would take a little work and a desire to set it up. There is always a way to bring about a desired effect. Just as the hoops I jumped through to set it up in the first time. 

 

Children's Theater offered during summer

I do a summer program not because I want to but because I have no other options. It is either this or nothing. Never once has any of the administrators come to any of the Children's plays. I know they are busy people with great and important jobs. But if they had come they would see what it is they are giving up. (At the bottom is a document by a teacher, who came to the productions)

 

Facility Issues:

Considerably more physical space for the program and availability of outdoor areas.

College has planned for young children on campus with "Kids College" program in place.

Administrative Issues:

Children's Theater is an offering of the recognized "Kids College" program.

Payment of fees is in place and recognized by the auditors.

Payment of instructor is in place and recognized by the auditors.

Fewer liability issues because instructors is recognized as employee of the college.

Promotion and Marketing is in place and provided by the college.

More potential children are available for the program during the summer.

 

I have problems with the issued reasons and for the following reasons:

None of this was prepared as an option it was put on the table as a payment to keep quiet. A very small one at that. After I wrote my first web article about this then the provisions were made. I gave the administrator who made this proposal two weeks. I contacted Kids College rep to find out nothing had been done. After my meeting then it set up to do a show but then they used the meeting as a opportunity to demonize me. They have a file on me. I didn’t publish what was going on and they dropped me from the Kids College workshops without explanation or even telling me that they had done it. They have chosen to make me an enemy rather than working with me.

 

Being a tattletale

It’s ok to complain but, keep it in the family. Who does it serve? Not me. I don’t do anything wrong and whose program gets dissolved? I say something and I get grinded for it. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. So I will make it public. You will think twice if you do this kind of thing again. I am one former Edison Student, One of many, who says “Edison you have a problem.”  I think I’ll go to Sinclair now. Your enrollment will just continue to fall off and when I am a millionaire guess what college I will not be giving it to. I’ll take my toys and play with someone else now.

 

 

What was on the Website:

Theater at Edison is confined to the Summer
"Rapunzel" is canceled. With the change of administration at Edison Community College ushered a change in  Children's Theater at Edison Community College. First During the summer of 2002 a student production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" was told they could not perform at Edison Community College. Then The Shakespeare was Cancelled for the following Year but could be done during the summer.  The Children's Theater still performed "A Christmas Carol" to critical acclaim in December but then when The dates and times were being approved for  "Rapunzel" it was decided they didn't have the space. But, it was decided that Edison has room for it during the summer with conjunction of the College for Kids Program.   
Planning now, to do a faerie tale musical during the summer and there is optimism that it will go.  With original music from Dr. Bob Agnew. Will do summer program at Edison. Now look for a new facility to have programs during the school year.
Edison's Reasons, Edison The Joyful Workplace

Edison's Reasons
for Confining the Children's Theater to Summer

Meeting to discuss Children's Theater
Feb 6th, 2003

Children's Theater offered during Fall or Spring Semesters

Facility Issues:

  1. Very busy time for the college with academic year programs and students.
  2. Emphasis on academic programs: course offerings, and adult students needs.
  3. Physical space for all programs is very difficult to accommodate.

 Administrative Issues:

  1. System for accountability of student paid fees for the program is not recognized by the auditors.
  2. Supervision of the program and liability issues that the college would be asked to assume: no employee of the college responsible while the children are on campus.
  3. Release of students to those other than parents.

Children's Theater offered during summer

Facility Issues:

  1. Considerably more physical space for the program and availability of outdoor areas.
  2. College has planned for young children on campus with "Kids College" program in place.

Administrative Issues:

  1. Children's Theater is an offering of the recognized "Kids College" program.
  2. Payment of fees is in place and recognized by the auditors.
  3. Payment of instructor is in place and recognized by the auditors.
  4. Fewer liability issues because instructors is recognized as employee of the college.
  5. Promotion and Marketing is in place and provided by the college.
  6. More potential children are available for the program during the summer.

 

I have problems with the issued reasons and for the following reasons:

Children's Theater offered during Fall or Spring Semesters

Facility Issues:

  1. Very busy time for the college with academic year programs and students. 
  2. Emphasis on academic programs: course offerings, and adult students needs.
  3. Physical space for all programs is very difficult to accommodate.

The Children's Theater has been a part of the Acting credit in the Acting I Class. We have had 1-8 Acting students in our productions every year except for the last two productions where the Acting I Class had been cancelled due to a lack of enrollment. This year, this semester there was an acting class and with the Shakespeare being put on a shelf, Children's Theater was going to be the acting credit. Someone seemed to think that it was appropriate for an acting student to go to the local community theater to do the acting lab credit. I'm sure if Sinclair or Clark State, who both have productions all year, reads this they would find it laughable. Anybody in professional theater would see our program as inadequate in preparing students for  the outside world. A career in theater is hard enough without further adding to the mediocrity.

  1. It is a common misconception that Art is the ability to draw on paper and put it on the refrigerator.  So this misconception also exist for theater. If I memorize lines and repeat them on a stage that is theater. This is not true. It would be like doing a few addition and subtraction problems and calling myself a Mathematician or Doing some plumbing and calling myself a Scientist or balancing my checkbook and calling myself an Accountant. Art is the understanding of forms and the communication of forms, colors and use of space. The better the articulation the higher the art form. It is the difference of the "Mona Lisa" and Graffiti on the wall. It is the difference of "Water Lilies" and an eight year old picture of a flower. There is though and execution of an idea. Theater is the same. It is the use of self to articulate form, character and substance of personality. It dives into the motivations that are behind all action. It is the practical use of psychology and character development. It is the true exploration of self and what it is to be human. Community Theater is the lower form especially that presented in this area who does not understand or had limited exposure to.
  2. We have had Students go from this program to go and do great things:
    Brian Swineheart - Took Acting I at Edison, performed the part of the prince in "How to Pick a Princess". Went to L.A. and has been in several television shows and movies.
    Krysten Schietz - Took Actiing I at Edison, Performed in "How to Pick a Princess" and "Reviving Cinderella". Going to a Theater School in New York.
    Jaime Gusching - One of our youth performers, She Performed in "RumpleStiltskin", "Reviving Cinderella" Summer and Fall Cast and was a storm maiden in "Hansel and Gretal. She is presently performing "Wizard of Oz" she is playing "The Wicked Witch of the West" at Lehman's High School.
    Sadie Bowman - Took Acting I at Edison, Performing in "How to Pick a Princess". She is now going to Iowa State for a Theater degree.
    Jennifer Hill - Took Acting I at Edison, Performed in "Hansel and Gretal". She is a Radio personality on Bowling Green's Radio Station. 
    Matthew Williams - Took Acting I, Directing Shakespeare, Creative Writing with a slant to Playwriting at Edison. I have to add myself. I have a successful part-time business in Children's Theater and Puppet Shows. I am the Stagemanager for Gateway Arts, Cameo Theater in Sidney, Ohio. I am interviewing for  puppet companies and maybe soon working for one.

    These are the fruits just after 5years. Just a few that I can name off the top of my hat <sic>.
    If I forgot anyone, email me and I will add you to the list.

Difficulty of Space has been citied as an issue. There has been no provisions even made for space. There is room at certain times but their is a lack of effort made in finding accommodations and with the small theater being torn down their should had been made other alternatives offered. The large theater regularly sits empty.

 Administrative Issues:

  1. System for accountability of student paid fees for the program is not recognized by the auditors.
  2. Supervision of the program and liability issues that the college would be asked to assume: no employee of the college responsible while the children are on campus.
  3. Release of students to those other than parents.

This is how out of touch the administrative issues are: There are no student fees. The alleged liability issues can be circumvented either by hiring me or having me give a 15% commission back to the college to pay rent. Easily solved.
I do workshops at Troy-Hayner and Gateway Arts and there is no liability issue. It could be said "WE DON'T WANT TO BE LIABLE FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN". But that is not true with a childcare on campus with Science Olympia on premises, and other children's activities. Some of them not regulated by a hired employee of the college.
Students are not released to anyone but parents and they would know that if they asked me directly. I have worked 3years on and off in Childcare and know how to be safe.

Not recognized by the Auditor: 
The Auditor, knows how things are set up using the Theater Club which. He chooses to have a small memory. It is money he cannot control because it is done through the Theater Club. Before all money from a production went into the general fund so that it was impossible to buy Stage lights, props, costumes and materials without having to go through a lot of red tape and even then we could be denied. I came up with a way so we could buy what we needed with the profits we made. I proposed doing it through the clubs. By the charter they are allowed to have monies, have fund raisers and take donations. They could act independently of the College accountant. A deal was struck where 1/2 went into the college's general fund and the other 1/2 went into the Theater Club's account. If this is not recognized by the auditor then their is another way to account for it. This would take a little work and a desire to set it up. There is always a way to bring about a desired effect. Just as the hoops I jumped through to set it up in the first time. 

What the Account Said:
During the Dress Rehearsal of MacBeth. The day before performance the actors were kicked out of room 057. The Accountant wanted to have a meeting in this room but it was scheduled for the greenroom. When he came in the room and demanded that they "GET OUT" they told him that they were scheduled for the room. He then proceeded to tell them that "ANNE VACCARO doesn't run this school"  and that the woman who schedules the room works for him. 
This same accountant has had problems with the Teacher's Union time and time again. Where they have to come close to suing the school for information that should be released to the Union. I believe this account has power issues that are inappropriate for an institute of higher learning and he is allowed to exercise more power than should be given to an accountant.

Children's Theater offered during summer

I do a summer program not because I want to but because I have no other options. It is either this or nothing. Never once has any of the administrators come to any of the Children's plays. I know they are busy people with great and important jobs. But if they had come they would see what it is they are giving up. (At the bottom is a document by a teacher, who came to the productions)

Facility Issues:

  1. Considerably more physical space for the program and availability of outdoor areas.
  2. College has planned for young children on campus with "Kids College" program in place.

Administrative Issues:

  1. Children's Theater is an offering of the recognized "Kids College" program.
  2. Payment of fees is in place and recognized by the auditors.
  3. Payment of instructor is in place and recognized by the auditors.
  4. Fewer liability issues because instructors is recognized as employee of the college.
  5. Promotion and Marketing is in place and provided by the college.
  6. More potential children are available for the program during the summer.

An email that I recieved:

Matt,
While we can include the children’s theatre information in our brochure, it will not actually fall under the kids college umbrella, as it does not fit the parameters of the program.  If you wish us to include the information, please get it to me by Friday so that the kids college committee can begin our brochure development.  Please include information on the ECC employee who will be responsible for that and their contact information.  You have mentioned both Anne V. and Dr. Bob, so I am not sure who is working with you to coordinate the program.  Let me know.

Feel free to submit it via email if you wish.  I will be in and out all week with meetings, etc.
Thanks
XXXXX 

 

Did anybody check this before they suggested it?
The program lost in confusion. 
If it is going to happen I, who is not an employee of Edison, will have to make it so.
 

 

 

 

No such thing as a "Christian" Monster.

1.1 What Was Said?

I was participating with The Shelby Coalition Against Domestic Violence at Kids Around the Square. We had a booth where we were doing face painting. We also did the puppet show. Porsha from Never-Neverland performed a song from her single.

I was face painting a young boy who was about 10years old. He desired that I made him up as a monster.
His father came up and said "We'll need to get home and wash up from church. You can't go with that demonic stuff on ya."

I didn't think that this was serious so I said "Oh he's just a monster."

"That isn't a very good thing for a Christian to do." He responded.

"Oh, he's a Christian monster." I said.

The dad was a little frustrated with me at that time and said "There's no such thing as a Christian monster!"

At this point I just finished painting the child. I felt his behavior was completely inappropriate and I didn't want to make a scene. There were children about. And he wanted to act out.

The response that I kept to myself was "Oh yes there are Christian monsters. Oh yes there are." 

1.2 Comments.

It is unfortunate for children when belief is taken to such extremes. I think it is radical and just as bad as the opposite extreme.
I remember going to a parade in Greenville. The Greenville Band had won a contest at Disney World and a part of winning Greenville had a Disney Parade with floats from Disney World. It was a wonderful opportunity for the community. The parade was wonderful for the children and the community had become involve with making floats to be in the parade.  Everything would be perfect except for some Christian monsters. 
There was a group trying to protest the Disney Parade. The reason that they had posted on an airplane that flew overhead and on picket signs as they followed the parade: They accuse Disney of having a gay agenda. That's right they were protesting a Disney parade for children. I heard one child as her mother "What is gay age-da" 

The alleged gay agenda stems from the fact that Disney had a gay day at the Disneyland and World parks. Disney does not discriminate if any group of people approach them with enough members the set up a special day for them. If Disney did not do this they would be sued for not granting a gay day and Disney doesn't care as long as they pay to come in. There is no gay agenda. The same propaganda engines that stated that the purple teletubie was gay are  fools. 

1.3 My Rant

I have trouble calling myself a Christian and they embarrass my sensibility to even be in a similar group. They do more damage to Christ than any devil worshiper or anti-christ could ever do. Putting his name in vain and espousing such alcidine ideas as even to make St. Michael blush. I want to put Christ and Mother Teresa in another group from the monsters. It would be different if it wasn't mainstream. The stupid uneducated things I hear them say and I hear other "Christians" repeat makes my skin crawl and my hair fall out. 

Any one who has read the Bible, which I very much doubt that any of these monster ever have (reading parts but not the whole thing. Creating context for the ideas expressed), would know that descriptions of the throne of god has great beaste on either side. They would know of Leviathan (monster of the deep). They would know that the Tribe of Ephraim's symbol was the Unicorn. Goliath was a monster; a man 2 stories tall.

I think I want to be called a Jesus Christian or a Saint instead. Except Saint sounds very presumptuous about ones closeness with God. 

1.4 Final Thoughts

I should have a few good Christian monsters in a puppet show.

 

 

Didn't Publish Your Press Release

1.1 What Was Said?

>From: "xxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

>To: "Matthew Williams"
>Subject: News releases
>Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2002 09:16:54 -0500
>
>For news releases, Steppin' Out and the Entertainer newspapers, which are distributed in Mercer, Auglaize, Darke, Van Wert, Shelby, Allen, Putnam and Logan counties and cover western Ohio and eastern Indiana, we required that all press releases contain the following information:
>Name of Event
>Date of Event
>Times of Event
>Costs (if any)
>Location of Event, including addresses
>Contact Number for the public
>Your press releases never contain an address, which is why they have not appeared in either of our publications. We would be happy to include your events in our publications if you include the above information.
>Also, you may email your information directly to me, although I get it either way.

>xxxxxxxxxxxx
>Editor

1.1 Response:

It is unfortunate that you chose not to run the release. With Edison Community College being a landmark in and of it's self. If you still didn't know where the college was I provided a helpful website with a map and a phone number to contact the college. I left ample ways to find out where. I will give you what you request but I disagree with your reasons for not publishing it. Yes this is a service you provide but this is a service you provide for your readers. There are so few things provided like this to children. It was a mistake not to run it.

Matthew Williams
Director of the Children's Theater at Edison Community College.

 1.1 Press Release in Question

Press Release
For Immediate Release
01/31/02

Edison Community College’s Children’s Theater: Never-Neverland Productions
Announcing tryouts for "The Monkey King", February 12th and 13th, at 4pm-6pm.
Tryouts will be held in the small theater at Edison Community College. Open to all ages. Only requirement is literacy.
The play is based on the Asian folk story by same name.

Need people to be: drum player, actors, puppeteers, sets, lights and sound. Different than Christian puppeteering. Players will have multiple roles and be able to help in the construction of the show. Matthew Williams, the director, is doing something he has never done before inspired by the Chinese Opera in an effort to push the envelope of past productions.

For information call director at 778-3687 or Edison at (937) 778-8600 or email at madmattprod@hotmail.com
You
can check out our website at http://fraganard.bravepages.com


You may be mangling the original for the purpose of spreading a tired mantra...

1.2 What Was Said?


From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: madmattprod@hotmail.com
Subject: your webpage
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 08:03:54 -0400

I checked out your webpage recently. Interesting.

Your points about fairy tales being tied to human psychology and our belief systems is well taken. But it would be a little easier to take what you have to say more seriously if your writing weren't loaded with grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. You really need to have someone review it for you and clean it up.

The Giving Tree is not a sick story. It is a story about selfless giving. If you see it as a sick story, maybe that has more to say about what's inside of you than it does about what's inside of the story.

Anyone can rewrite a fairy tale and tell it from their own point of view. The description of your plot seems to imply that Cinderella has low self-esteem from the beginning of the story, and that marriage to the Prince is a mistake based on that poor self-image which she successfully avoids. Where in the original story do you get the idea that Cinderella is suffering from low self-esteem? It seems to me that you may be mangling the original for the purpose of spreading a tired mantra of political correctness.

And if getting married is a mistake for Cinderella, why in the world would you want to get married for real during the Saturday production?

Do you have any kind of a background in psychology that qualifies you to make statements about the emotional, ethical, moral or psychological value of fairy tales? Or do you just enjoy blowing off steam at everybody for the fun of hearing yourself preach?

-- xxxxxxxxxx

> Writer for the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

1.2 Response:


xxxxxxxxxx,

This is one of my great weaknesses that I have had for sometime. I am all ways struggling with. This page was checked by someone else and spell checker. I do much better when I proof read something that I didn't write.I could make many excuses. But to take responsibility, My grammar sucks. My spelling sucks. I've been to busy and concentrated in other areas to fix it and this may continue for some time.

I do have these problems and I know that assumptions are made about education, background, social status. Which your tone and contention I didn't expect.

From the inflammatory things that you have said "Do you have any kind of a background in psychology that qualifies you to make statements about the emotional, ethical, moral or psychological value of fairy tales? Or do you just enjoy blowing off steam at everybody for the fun of hearing yourself preach?"

This Cinderella was written after I finished reading "In care of the Soul" and "Reviving Ophelia". I work with children. I was once a child and I remember what it was like. I create and sometimes my indignation moves me.

Most children's literature was never about writing for children. Dr. Seuss didn't even like children. Alice in wonderland is about the underlining shadow culture in English Society. Ring around the rosey was a death chant during the plagues of Europe. Mother Goose was about political figures in English Society. Mockeries of them that she taught her grandchildren. The father who was a Tori was so unhappy as a joke he got her published as "Mother Goose". In "Peter Pan", Peter Pan almost bleed to death after his conflict with Hook. In Wizard of Oz the Tin Man is made because a witch enchants his ax and The Tin Man keeps cutting off body parts and replacing them with tin parts.

"mangling the original for the purpose of spreading a tired mantra of political correctness."

The original version of or fairy tales are not as they are today. Sleeping Beauty was awoke not by a kiss but by something more carnal. Little Red Ridding Hood was eaten by the Wolf. These stories were Christianized, Changed to suit the political and social climates.

If I choose to become apart of this grand tradition, why not. I have certain beliefs and just because they are not your own doesn't mean that I can't proceed a certain way as if it is truth. This is what I believe. Cinderella didn't have a fairy God mother or even glass slippers in earlier versions. Shakespeare made a whole play of King Lear from the popular fairy tale "Meat without Salt".

"Do you have any kind of a background in psychology that qualifies you to make statements about the emotional, ethical, moral or psychological value of fairy tales?"

Just because I do not have social validation in the form of a degree or some other does not mean that what I think is not valid. If one went by Einstein's validations ,and they did, what he had to say would have meant nothing. Also Fulton's Folly and Edison's tinkering electrics'. It is the folly of this generation to resign themselves to a lowered state. To think that they can't be as great or to have a little manifest destiny in their life. What we believe about ourselves is more powerful than reality. Society is always looking for validation and like a quote in my play "Crabs in a barrel."

I don't know how many times I have heard the complaint "nothing ever happens in ..." This place has no cultural events to go to. I don't agree with Aristotle or Luther or Buddha this doesn't mean that I should deny them a point of view or the expressing of it.

I will tell you this I have 125 College Credit hours. I have studied Stage Technology, Computer Video editing, Directing Shakespeare, Stage Lighting, Commercial Art, Photography, Acting a couple of times. I take what ever class I want. I remember what it was to be a child. I graduated from a four year Seminary. My field of study is Theater and Shakespeare. This is all my grand experiment. As you can see from my web page I can do things. I may not be able to spell or have grammar but maybe that is one thing that I may never get right. One thing

I may be wrong. I then proceed boldly in my wrongness than to have never done it because I can't. If you have ever read Ben Franklin's writing or Einstein's work they have interesting grammar and spelling.

If any one can rewrite a fairy tale, why don't they.

If plays are so easy to write, why aren't they.

If plays are so easy to perform, why aren't they.

This version of Cinderella is based on actual things that are in mine and my Sweet Heart's life. What else should I write about?

"And if getting married is a mistake for Cinderella, why in the world would you want to get married for real during the Saturday production?"

It's not the marriage that is a problem. It's the error that most divorced people ,I know, have made. Not truly knowing or caring to know who they are marring. Marriage for the sake of marriage. What you think a person is not as they are.

Not to say me and Ginger may not always be together, but I have been dating her for 3years I love her for her not because I have some image of her. This play is about her and my own struggle to gain self-esteem.

Yes this is an attack on conventional society. Yes I am no more educated than Socrates, thank god I'm not homeless like him. You may think that This is Ego. Pride is a sin because it puts other people down to put one's self up. I put down ideas. What I'm doing doesn't hurt anyone. It's fun. I would be happy if everyone felt self value. And like a convert to a new religion I would be happy to convert others to the happiness that like in fairy tale are predicated upon principles, and disenchantment (when the spell is broken).

"Or do you just enjoy blowing off steam at everybody for the fun of hearing yourself preach?"

This isn't very nice. You don't even know me. I could retort "Do you place judgments on every story that you cover and take time to type equally preachy emails." This feels more like a bash than sincere inquiry. Maybe all this is about you and your baggage. Maybe we are two egos acting out.

This concerns me. I don't write you emails when I fell that the xxxxxx paper didn't cover a story right. I realize that with all seriousness set a side none of this really means anything. It's all just older kids toys. Was the Giving Tree one of your favorite poems? I apologize if I offended you. I am far from political correct infact I verge conservative-liberal "fringe dweller". I can not even be classified as such and until now had never been.

If this truly concerns you would you like to have lunch and discuss it?

The Giving Tree is a stump afterwards because it keeps giving and giving. What other meaning is there? I see the doctrine of the martyr.

By the way web page is a separate word but is together when you spell WebPages.

-Matt

Just a person who likes to create.

 

1.2 Response Back:

Matthew,

Very well said. I like a guy who can stand up for what he believes. I made no inference about your background or education by the stylistic points of your "web page" (I stand corrected). I simply said that the errors get in the way of being able to hear what you have to say. I apologize if I gave you another impression.

Despite your humility about your personal writing skills in the beginning of your email, the rest of the tone of the reply and the web page gives the impression that you are an authority on fairy tales and their meanings. I just wanted to know before I make up my mind. Do you have something worth listening to or not? Personal experience can be a legitimate source of validation for viewpoints. I just wanted to know what all of your sources were. --- xxxxx

Other References
Cinderella Project - Variations of Cinderella

Why don't you do nice stories?

1.3 What was said:

Her - Why are you doing Hansel and Gretal? You shouldn't do Hansel and Gretal

Me - Hansel and Gretal are a wonderful story. It addresses the issu....(cut off)

Her - With Scary witches. There are so many nice stories. Why don't you do nice stories.

Me - Nice stories are boring. Children have no interest. Like the story by Saffo ....(cut off)

Her - Children don't always knows what's best for them and that's our responsiblitity as educators.

Me - There is nothing wrong with Hansel and Gretal.

Her - You now having a son I thought you would understand.

Me - But I do. I don't believe in giving my child all cheer and sunshine stories all the tim....(cut off)

Her - Well, I will fight you. 

Me - (Shocked that this is coming from an educated adult) I own all my props, the puppets are mine. Your not going to control what I do because you will have nothing.

 

She latter tried to get age restrictions on the Halloween Party that I threw each year.  The Halloween Party did Trick-or-Treat threw the halls of Edison and had activities for the children. Like a hayride, fortune cookie teller and skits. She made it her mission to Nix it.

She came the year before and observed it for less than 3minutes. Didn't help. Didn't provide students. Didn't provide anything.

Her -  This is too scary for young children. I was brought to tears when I observed a child forced to do out into the dark corridor by their parent.

Me - Are you talking about the Hay ride?

Her - The child was terrified and the parent forced them outside. (She left after that.)

Me - (Having observed the same train wreck.) We didn't force the child outside. The child was not terrified just didn't want to go outside. And it was lit by the windows of the building.  The same child you mention got ok when they saw what we were doing. We did a Hay ride where the a few children would fit on the cart and then the others would go out and hide behind the trees and shrubs in the court yard. No one was scared. 

Her - It is inappropiate for young children to scare them.

I refused to put an age limit because the Trick-or-Treat was for the protection of Young Children. Not being out get treats they don't need from people they don't know.  With us the treats were provided by a local store and everything was donated by community business. The event was run by the Theater Students and Children's Theater kids. They planned it and ran it. I just provided the conduit for it to happen.

 Do the parents have any say in this?

After going to Dr. Yowell and exercising her power...no more Halloween Bash.

I have run into 8 children who asked if we were doing it and I had to say...sorry.

And this community can't understand why people of vision, money and creativity move away. 

 

1.3 Response Back: 

What I would had said if I hadn't been cut off so many time and knew I was in a conflict. If I agreed with her everything was OK. If I disagreed well then destroy me.  She didn't even care to hear why or what I thought. She knew everything in her superiority and snobbery.

1. No, why don't you do nice stories and leave me alone. Many want to tell me what to do but do they contribute or provide monitary help? They don't even ask and if I disagree they make it there mission in life to destroy me as if they are superior in there mother hen moddle-coddling.  You do more damage than good. 

2. Like you said there are so many NICE stories. So many stories  with actual value are not being told. So we have all nice stories. What happens to the child whose daddy dies. Are there stories for them? What happens to the child who is abused. Are there nice stories for them? What happens to the child who burns down his house? 

When my house had burned down. One of my brothers had unattended candles. I played with candles a lot and could had burned the house down too but I didn't and it was because of an episode of Little House on the Prairie when Laura Engle burns down the barn being thoughtless with a lantern. I never wanted to do that so I always took  precautions. My brother never saw that episode or any other story about the consequences of fire. He was ill prepared and our entire family paid the price. We were all told not to play with fire but do children always obey. Obedience comes with experience. Stories and Theater convey experience.

3. Nothing is worse than to think you are alone in your grief. Nothing is worse not to know your options. Nothing is worst than missed opportunities. (Something this community should focus on) Where are these experts at that you think should be the only ones making these statements? I didn't see them in the majority of my life. We had so many subjects you just don't talk about. I resent being sent into the world with out the tools to deal with it. I resent not educating the youth to the pearl. Not to scare them but to give them the tools to fight. To give them the tools to win! I resent people like you. Your  a part of the problem being the unimaginative authority figure.

4. You are not better than me. Yes you live on Park Ave and yes your husband is a lawyer but that does not give you the right to behave in that way. You are not the all authority on children. I would never let you watch my son. I have watched how you talk down to children like you talked down to me and I think you are ugly.

 

Harry Potter

2.1 Question:

From: xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: thinking about Harry Potter
>Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 10:05:48 -0400

>Hey folks,
>I have not read Harry Potter yet to form an opinion but will next week. I
>know many of you have read it and enjoy it as good vs. evil and fun writing. My own Jessie
>has read two and is in the middle of the new one and loves it. Since there
>seems to be rumbles of skepticism about the book I decided it is wise to be informed
>so that I can discuss my faith intelligently.
>
>Here are some sites with info and opinions--they make interesting food for
>thought. It might be fun to have a discussion group after you have read the
>books and these articles----I make it a practice to read the pro and the con
>ones so my thoughts will be balanced.
>enjoy, xxxx
>
>this is from "Internet for Christians"....
> > POTTERMANIA!!
> >
> > While the Harry Potter books are basically aimed at elementary aged
> > children, I'm sure some of your kids are into them, as well. If you have
> > parents in your church asking about this massively popular series, here are
> > some links to articles from Christian publications. You'll hit about every
> > point on the spectrum with these. But they can help parents (and youth
> > workers, and youth) decide on Harry's suitability:

Matt Note: She then adds a list of web page articles. Most Christian publications don't like Harry Potter except Christianity Today wrote a favoritable article.
I actually watched on the news where there was a book burning directed at Harry Potter. Thank the lord for the Printing Press.

 2.1 Baptist Article:

Article Provided by Southern Baptist Press

July 11, 2000

Latest 'Harry Potter' book meets cautionary response from Christians
By Art Toalston

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--It's not just the release of a fourth Harry Potter book that increasingly will force Christians to deal with the overarching occult themes in the series about a fictional teenager who attends a school for witchcraft and wizardry.

A movie from Warner Bros. will begin production next year in England and, according to The Wall Street Journal, big profits are envisioned from sequels, TV broadcast rights, cartoon spin-offs, home video sales, theme park rides and interactive games. Nearly 50 deals with toy makers, worth $1 billion, already have been cut, according to The Washington Post.

The bespectacled-orphaned son of a murdered wizard and witch has become "the soul mate of millions of children around the world," USA Today declared in a July 7 front-page story.

Focus on the Family and the American Family Association were at the forefront of issuing cautionary comments on "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by English author and single mom J.K. Rowling soon after the 734-page book's July 8 release.

On Focus on the Family's Internet site, www.family.org, an essay, "The Trouble with Harry," was posted.

The author, John Andrew Murray, headmaster at St. Timothy's-Hale, an Episcopal school in Raleigh, N.C., and writer/director of the video "Think About It: Understanding the Impact of TV-Movie Violence," recounted that the first three Harry Potter books "created a stir in public schools across America. Some Christian parents have complained that J.K. Rowling's tales of young witches and wizards are terrifying to young children and inappropriate for classroom use. They've been rewarded for their concern with ridicule in newspapers and editorial cartoons.

"Complicating the matter," Murray noted, "is the fact that several Christian leaders and conservative magazines have praised the series' ability to captivate even the most reluctant young readers."

Murray predicted: "With the growing popularity of youth-oriented TV shows on witchcraft -- 'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch;' 'Charmed;' 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' -- a generation of children is becoming desensitized to the occult. But with Hollywood's help, Harry Potter will likely surpass all these influences, potentially reaping some grave spiritual consequences." An early sign: "The throngs that line up to meet Rowling [to autograph their books] are often teeming with children clad in wizard cloaks and sporting [Harry-like] lightning-bolt scars tattooed -- temporarily -- to their foreheads," Murray wrote.

Murray also was quoted in USA Today as noting that the Harry Potter books, evidencing "no higher authority," push young readers into a morally confused world.

And it can be a gory world, Murray wrote on the Focus on the Family website, "including a professor whose leg is mangled by a three-headed dog; a mysterious figure who is caught drinking blood from a unicorn carcass; ... and Nearly Headless Nick -- a ghost whose head is barely attached."

"Harry frequently -- and unapologetically -- lies, breaks rules and disobeys authority figures," Murray also noted.

The American Family Association, in a news release, described the "Harry Potter" series as "books that promote witchcraft and wizardry."

But, the Donald Wildmon-led AFA likewise noted, "within the conservative community, there are varying opinions on whether Christians should be concerned about the content. ... Since the books first came on the market, many Christians have voiced strong objection to their use of magic and the occult and its frightening passages. But others disagree."

The AFA noted that well-known conservative spokesman Charles Colson "has been quoted in recent days saying the magic and the sorcery in the Potter books are 'purely mechanical as opposed to occultic.' Colson says Harry and friends develop courage, loyalty and a willingness to sacrifice for one another. He says those are not bad lessons in a self-centered world.

"Many others argue, however, that putting witchcraft in such a positive light is not a message Christian parents would want to endorse," the AFA stated.

Colson's essay can be found in his Internet site's archives at www.breakpoint.org.

"Some Christians may try to keep their kids from reading these books," Colson commented, "but with 8 million copies of the Harry Potter books floating around American homes, it's almost inevitable that your own children or grandchildren will be exposed to them.

"If they do read these books, help them to see the deeper messages," Colson advised. "Contrast the mechanical magic in the Potter books to the kind of real-life witchcraft the Bible condemns -- the kind that encourages involvement with supernatural evil. Help them, as well, to see how the author presents evil as evil, and good as good.

"If your kids do develop a taste for Harry Potter and his wizard friends, this interest might just open them up to an appreciation for other fantasy books with a distinctly Christian worldview," Colson continued. "When your kids finish reading Harry Potter, give them C.S. Lewis' 'Narnia' books and J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy. These books also feature wizards and witches and magical potions -- but in addition, they inspire the imagination within a Christian framework -- and prepare the hearts of readers for the real-life story of Christ."

A detailed analysis of the Harry Potter series, meanwhile, is available on the Internet site of an organization that keeps parents informed about questionable content in popular books, Family Friendly Libraries, at www.fflibraries.org. One of the articles, titled "Harry Potter Takes Drugs," deals with two passages in one of the books involving the teen hero's making and taking of potions, including a psychedelic/hypnotic drug, thujone, banned by the United States since 1915.

Elsewhere in the media, reviews of the latest Harry Potter book ranged from USA Today's "'Goblet of Fire' burns out ... Lengthy fourth book lacks spark of imagination" to positive reviews in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

"Alas, the 734-page tome mostly makes the reader wistful for the exquisitely plotted, beautifully buffed, enchantingly imaginative first two books, 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' and 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,'" USA Today reviewer Deirdre Donahue wrote. "This installment has the telltale loping pace and paper-chewing verbosity that best-selling authors develop when they try to write a book a year. ... There were dreaded signs of this syndrome in the third installment, 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,' but the disease is full-blown in 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.'"

A USA Today editorial, meanwhile, made reference to the "cross-pollination of paganism and Christianity" in the Harry Potter books, noting, for example, that his school of witchcraft and wizardry celebrates Halloween along with Christmas and Easter. Such content "has been a feature of popular English literature almost from the start," the editorial stated, citing the 1,000-year-old epic "Beowulf."

The editorial also acknowledged, "One of the raps against Harry Potter, written with sparkling creativity by J.K. Rowling, has been that the stories can be a little harsh. Potter is a child-wizard, orphaned by murder into the malevolent custody of his Muggle (non-wizard) aunt and uncle. At school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy, he's stalked by a raft of evil wizards and monsters. A run-in with Dementors causes him to have flashbacks of his dying mother's screams."

Ethical concerns were voiced in a USA Today news story by parent Ken McCormick of Birchrunville, Pa., who described "a general nastiness underneath the mantle of cuteness" in the Harry Potter books. "The kids lie, they steal, they take revenge," the father of 8- and 11-year-old children told the newspaper. "This is a disturbing moral world, and it conflicts with what I am trying to teach my children."

At the other end of the spectrum, Caroline Ward, president of the American Library Association's Services to Children and coordinator of a Stamford, Conn., library's children's services, told USA Today, "It's hard to believe that one series of books could almost turn an entire nation back to reading, but that is not an exaggeration." The 30-year librarian said 50 copies of the first Harry Potter book never remain idle on her library's shelves.

The first printing of the fourth in what is planned as a seven-part series totaled 5.3 million, with nearly 400,000 copies sold worldwide by Amazon.com before publication, making it the biggest-selling book in e-retail history, a spokesman for the Internet bookseller told The Washington Post. The Barnes & Noble chain had 360,000 orders and expected to break records for first-day and first-week sales for any book, The Post continued.

Worldwide, 30 million copies of the three earlier books are in print in 33 languages.

The latest installment "is darker than its predecessors," including the first-ever death in a Harry Potter book and "a disturbing scene" of torture, noted MSNBC reviewer Connie Fletcher. Yet, "once you start reading it, you'll find it so well constructed, so artfully paced and so packed with surprises, both delightful and dreadful, that you will wish it were much longer" than its 734 pages, Fletcher wrote.

The Washington Post's Jabari Asim enthused in one part of her review that "perhaps there is some appeal in this anxious age" to one of the strengths author Rowling "bestows on her young hero, a strength that is as important as magic -- the power of a mother's love. As Dumbledore tells Harry: 'Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing [archenemy] Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn't realize that love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign ... to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever."

Saul Goodman of Chevy Chase, Md., referring to his daughter Rebecca, 10, told The Post, "I'm just proud she's reading something, besides playing Nintendo or watching TV."

 

2.1 Presbyterian Child Educator

More clay than Potter

Placing 1, 2, and 3 on the bestseller charts, children's literature sensation Harry Potter increasingly descends into darkness, raising concerns of parents and school boards around the country. Moral ambiguity and alienation of youth are strong themes in the series, which are wrongly marketed as modern successors to The Chronicles of Narnia. Unlike biblical stories, in Potter's world bad things seem to happen for no reason.

By Anne McCain

and Susan Olasky

For the past two months, a skinny, dark-haired orphan with a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead has taken over the New York Times bestseller list. The boy, Harry Potter, is the invention of British writer J.K. Rowling, who has made publishing history this fall by grabbing the top three spots on the bestseller list with her children's books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. More than 8 million copies of the books have been sold in the United States alone.

Harry is a young wizard who attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; his parents were murdered. Each of the books in the series-Joanne Rowling plans seven-chronicles one of Harry's school years at Hogwarts. Harry interacts with many fascinating characters in a series of magical adventures. The books, often compared to those of Roald Dahl, are suspenseful and humorous, but the second and third ones are increasingly dark, and maybe the comparison should be to the tangled terrain and psychology of Batman movies.

The big debate in literary circles last month was whether children's books should be eligible for the prestigious Times list; a win, place, and show by one author brings out the envy in many. The newly emerging question, though, is whether Harry's world is a good one for the intended 8- to 12-year-old audience. The American Library Association is now reporting four serious challenges-in South Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York-to use of the books in schools.

On Oct. 12, the South Carolina Board of Education agreed to review the suitability of all three Harry Potter books for classroom use. Elizabeth Mounce, a parent who addressed the board, said, "The books have a serious tone of death, hate, lack of respect, and sheer evil." A member of the board, Clarence Dickert, agreed, saying that "censorship is an ugly word, but it is not as ugly as what I've heard this morning."

To many readers the books' fictitious world of witchcraft seems harmless. Ms. Rowling has simply taken some traditional stereotypes of witchcraft, such as flying broomsticks, and incorporated them into her created fantasy world. This safety, this apparent harmlessness, may create a problem by putting a smiling mask on evil. A reader drawn in would find that the real world of witchcraft is not Harry Potter's world. Neither attractive nor harmless, it is powerful and evil.

That's the most obvious concern about the books, but others may go deeper. The parallel society Ms. Rowling creates-within England but invisible to its ordinary inhabitants-is both fantastic and mundane. Students have to study and take tests in their magic classes, and Harry has to practice long hours flying on his broomstick in order to be good at the school sport Quidditch. These mundane elements make the stories seem more real.

The magical elements, though, throw a relativistic curve ball. The rules of the wizard world are rarely solid and steadfast, and nothing is as it appears. In book two, Harry and Ron are able to transform themselves so they look like friends of their enemy, who thus gives them secret information. In book three a favorite teacher becomes a werewolf, a pet rat is actually an evil villain, and a convicted murderer is really a self-sacrificing godfather. The implicit message is that your friend may be your enemy, the person you are talking to might be someone else, and even your pet cannot be trusted. It's a message that rings true to many children of divorce, who learn early on that wedding vows are made to be broken and love almost arbitrarily turns to hatred.

Other dark elements, especially in Potter books two and three, are downright creepy. Book two spotlights a disturbing character named Dobby who bangs his head hard against walls and floors as self-punishment when he disobeys his master. Book three tells of horrible creatures called dementors (dementia, get it?) that suck every happy memory and thought from characters so they are left with only painful memories and negative thoughts. When dementors approach Harry, he can recall the screams of his mother dying to protect him, as his parents are killed by their best friend (or so it seems).

Ms. Rowling has a real knack for description-being around a dementor seems to be a pretty accurate description of depression. She also has a sharp wit-the way to combat a dementor is by eating chocolate! But her writing talents may be under the sway of her own dementors, and in an interview with Time Ms. Rowling said the books will become darker yet as the series progresses. "There will be deaths," she says, for "the only way to show how evil it is to take a life is to kill someone the reader cares about."

The gospels are centered on the evil taking of an innocent life, and Harry Potter books can give Bible-conscious parents an enjoyable opportunity to teach older children how to think critically. Truths sprinkled throughout the books are "trail markers" that can be used to point to God. For example, in the first book Harry comes across the Mirror of Erised. (Eris was the Greek goddess of discord and strife.) When a person gazes into the mirror, he sees his deepest longings fulfilled. When Harry looks, he sees his family; as an orphan, his deepest longing is for his mom and dad. When Professor Dumbledore, the Hogwarts headmaster, discovers Harry looking into the mirror, he offers him the wise counsel of not spending too much time with it since "the mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen."

Dumbledore encourages Harry to be content with what he has, not spend his life wishing for what he hasn't. The Bible teaches that contentment accompanied with godliness is great gain. This mirror episode provides an opportunity for discussing the value of contentment, and of the great gain in pursuing God as our deepest longing. What would each of us see if we were to look in the Mirror of Erised?

Another trail marker comes at the end of book two, when Harry discovers that he has many of the same abilities as the archvillain Voldemort. Harry is disturbed by the thought of being lumped in the same category as his enemy. But Dumbledore offers him wise counsel: "It is our choices, Harry, that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities." Scripture teaches that our actions flow from the heart, our "choice-making center." What we do and choose, not our abilities, shows our godliness or sinfulness.

Voldemort is truly evil, and Dumbledore is wise in a wonderful, grandfatherly way. Most of the other characters are more mixed, which again is a trail marker. Scripture teaches that we as humans are totally depraved but yet, by God's sanctifying or common grace, we sometimes choose to do good. Harry, the hero, has many good qualities. Yet, he is not always a shining example of virtue. He does not love his enemies-often he returns hurt for hurt. Harry is always trying to put one over on the Dursleys, the mean relatives who took him in after his parents died.

But the depiction of the Dursleys and other "Muggles"-common folk without imagination-is also one of the warning signs about the Harry Potter books. Scholastic Press, their U.S. publisher, links them to The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. But C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, creators of the seven Narnia tales and the four volumes set in Middle Earth, depicted common folks (Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Sam Gamgee and his dad) as the salt of the earth. Ms. Rowling depicts them as clueless irritants, the way an alienated child sees parents. The worst of the Muggles, the Dursleys, are said to have "a medieval attitude toward magic." In book two students learn that their school was built 1,000 years ago "far from prying Muggle eyes, for it was an age when magic was feared by common people, and witches and wizards suffered much persecution." Who disapproved of magic in the middle ages? The church.

Narnia and Middle Earth are also better worlds for a child's imagination than Harry Potter's because in them a great cosmic struggle between good and evil is taking place, and the difference between good and evil is clear: Tolkien's great character Gandalf is a powerful leader called a wizard, but witchcraft plays no part in the saga. In comparison, Harry Potter's topsy-turvy moral universe is confusing. That confusion, however, may make the series a hit in a confused culture. Harry Potter is a perfect modern hero for alienated youth. He is an orphan who hates, and is hated by, his adoptive parents. He has talents his parents don't recognize. He makes his own way, directed by his feelings and his friendships, but not by any written moral code.

The big sales of Harry Potter books are the culmination of a long-growing movement in children's literature and American culture generally to make "tweens"-8- to 14-year-olds-grow up faster. This is not to say that children that age should be unacquainted with the consequences of original sin among adults. If families read the Bible night after night, children will hear of brains smashed or eyes being gouged out. In the Bible, though, bad things happen for a purpose, and that's very different from today's sophisticated kids' books that show things happening for no reason, and without much rhyme.

-Anne McCain is director of children's education at Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Charlottesville, Va.

2.1 Response:

This is really a matter of censorship and child empowerment. 

Harry starts being an underdog having wicked aunt and uncle and cousins who he lives with. Harry has an incredible talent that the wizards think is great. Harry just doesn't see his true value. Through the book he finds that he has value and there are things he can do really well. I think  they are really great books. 

This type of controversy isn't new. Most recent with the Teletubies and the purple teletubie being gay. Christianity looks bad when it uses such propaganda that goes beyond the rationality of common people creating fear and dislike for something that isn't bad.

Historical Examples: Fairy tales considered evil (especially ones with faeries, Hans Christian Anderson has been cited as evil many times.

"I foresee that the Anderson and Fairy Tale fashion will not last; none of these things away from general nature do." - Mary Russell Mitford to Charles Boner , 28 January 1848

Shakespeare was band after the Puritans took over England after the assassination of Charles 1st with Cromwell in charge. Shakespeare has since been band in may public libraries.
Other books to be band because of over moralization is HuckleBerry Fin, Tom Saywer, Wind and the Willows, Catcher and the Rhye, Tess and the Dubervilles (in fact the Catholic church put and edict on the writer that if he was killed it would not be grounds for hell. He only wrote two books because of this.) The Book of Mormon, The Talmud, and the Apocrypha have also been band at different times and places.
In entertainment the tv show "Bewitched", Bettlejuice, Batman, Beauty and the Beaste(citing Beastility and the Beaste 666), Jesus Christ Superstar, Heman and the Masters of the Universe (because they have magic), She-ra (because of the idol name Ra), Lamb Chop (because the puppets would talk back and show total disrespect, Rug Rats (because the children aren't very nice in the show and they do dangerous things), Pokemon (Monster and connection to fantasy gaming, Mr. Rogers (magic in the land make believe), Teletubies having a gay member (gay sign on head and purple -
whatever!) and Disney for having a gay day at Disney World (So What they also have a bird watchers day and Boy Scout Day they are all inclusive to any group that wants a special day and they have the membership to warrant having their own day.)
I watched as Christians made a big deal when Disney had the big parade in Greenville. Children don't have an idea or even care about some supposed gay agenda. I'll believe their is an agenda when Mickey gets a little to friendly with Goofy and Donald. These people are afraid of the world in general you can see this in the way they act out.

The mouth piece of Christianity, The Bible has violence and sex and homosexuality. Violence: Sodom and Gomorrah (Bring out your visitors so we might know them.) Abraham sacrificing his son Issac, Moses and the Plagues, Joshua and the Wall of Jericho, Reign of the Kings (very bloody, assassination of a King where the blade sank and the fat enclosed over it), Saul and his battles, David and Goliath, David's rise to power, David and Bashebia (killing her husband and committing adultury), David and Solomon having so many wives and concubines  (women for breeding), Isaiah and the contest with the priest of Baal (after words they were all killed), and The Crucifixion of Jesus described in bloody detail.

We live in a world of violence, sex, greed, and danger our stories help us cope. Potter has obviously struck a need or it would not have the power or the following it has. Just as the Bible helps people cope.

Other writing that have been considered bad.
The Hobbit - Wizards, Magic, Magic weapons
Dragon Lance - Gods, Demons, Dragons, Magic weapons
Wizard of Oz - Magic, Witches, Magic Shoes, Talking Scarecrow
Alice in Wonderland - Drugs the make you big or make you small, The caterpillar smoking Opium, Queen who cuts off heads
Peter Pan - Almost bleeds to death, advocates running away from home and killing pirates.
Neverending Story - Magic, Magic Books
Where the Wild Things Are - Max talks back to his mother and tells her "I'll eat you up."

 

 

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