Critic's Provincial Attitude Thinly Disguised Censorship


Theater is intended to entertain and enlighten, not to convey a particular set of moral values. That's why we have freedom of religion.

Like Martha Searle, whose letter appeared here Tuesday, Oct. 5, I saw the Rim Repertory's production of "A Tuna Christmas."

Unlike her, I found it to be riotously funny and a very accurate slice of small town life, and so did the vast majority of those in attendance the night I went. They were doubled up and rolling on the floor in laughter.

Yes, there was a character who yelled a lot, but not as loud or as often as one of my neighbors. Yes, there was an occasional "hell" and "damn," but none of the "F" words that our children hear in music, movie theaters and on video tapes. Yes, a character carried a cigarette everywhere she went, but she never lit it or smoked it as so many movie stars do.

For the most part, I love small-town life. But a couple of things do bother me. One is how children are taken everywhere, even places they were never intended to go. "A Tuna Christmas" was adult entertainment. It was never billed as anything else. Even so, it was much tamer than most of the junk parents allow their kids to watch day in and day out.

The other thing that bothers me about small-town life is the provincial attitude that somebody knows better than I do what's good for me and what I should believe in.

Quality theater is a reflection of life. What better evidence that "A Tuna Christmas" was a quality production than the fact that it portrayed a group called the Smut Snatchers, whose job it was to find and excise all the smut in "A Tuna Christmas Carol." It's this kind of thinking that has resulted in attempts to ban Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" in a Phoenix area school district.

Lynelle Keyworth, Mesa del Caballo

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