Smoking in the Theater- Terry Morris uses Esrati.com as a crib sheet.

Today’s DDN has a long (by their new “McNews” format) about the smoking ban- and its application to theater productions. It’s the same issue we protested outside Moonlight and Magnolias- see “Join my crusade! Smoke Free Theater in Dayton“, and DDN theater critic Terry Morris interviews Marsha Hanna.

Considering Pam Strohmeyer and I protested this issue outside every single production on this same issue- and that I thoroughly addressed the issue on this blog, and that I cited both case of the Irish actor playing Churchill and the cases in Denver that he mentions- I was surprised that there was no mention made of this blog, our protest or what we suggested.

More so- Marsha Hanna, Director of the Human Race Theater Company- still doesn’t seem to get that audiences aren’t so stupid as to be able to imagine that an unlit cigarette works just as well as a lit one as a prop. They don’t drink real booze on stage, they don’t use real guns, and if they use prop guns- it’s not real blood either. It’s simple enough to hold a cigarette in your hand- and pretend to smoke- we, the audience, get it.

Smoke- from tobacco, herbs, or anything else- including cars- is bad for our health. It does not belong indoors at anytime. Marsha Hanna needs to get over her filthy self-destructive habit- and Terry Morris needs to cite his sources and give credit where credit is due.

This is a serious issue, and Ms. Hanna deserves a legitimate spanking in public for her continued whining about her support of smoke inside a theater.

On one other note: The Dublin Pub’s owner, Ray Dixon’s continued whining about the voters choice to go smoke free, is making me less want to patronize his establishment after the new law takes effect. Stop being a whiner Ray. More people don’t smoke, don’t want to stink, don’t want to die from other peoples foul habit- including your employees.

Smoke free will be here Thursday- rejoice!

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Pam
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I have written a letter to the editor of the Dayton Daily News about this article. Since I doubt that the paper will run it at all—certainly not in its original form—I am posting it here for anyone who would like to read my unedited comments on this topic. To the Editor: In October, The Human Race Theatre’s production of Moonlight & Magnolias included a totally gratuitous smoking scene at the end. It added nothing to the play and it wasn’t important to the plot. All it did was glamorize smoking. When asked why—since many people are sensitive to smoke—Marsha Hanna defended the scene on the grounds of “artistic freedom”. Several alternatives were suggested that would have accomplished the same dramatic effect. She rejected all of them, possibly because she is a smoker herself. I was one of a small group of people (organized by David Esrati) who took advantage of the timeliness of the production of Moonlight and Magnolias to raise awareness for Smoke-Free Ohio. We stood outside before each performance in a peaceful and good-natured protest. We handed out anti-smoking propaganda aimed at Ms. Hanna’s decision, and reminded people to vote No on 4/Yes on 5. This wasn’t a boycott. In fact, we told people that it was a great show (except for the smoking part). If anything, we generated extra publicity for the play. Our goal was just to create some social pressure to show smokers that lighting up in public places is not acceptable. Apparently, some people still disagree. In Sunday’s Life Section cover story, Ms. Hanna asserts that it will take time for audiences to accept alternatives to real smoking onstage “without laughing.” That’s ridiculous. If members of the audience couldn’t use their imaginations and suspend disbelief, theater wouldn’t even exist! Does Ms. Hanna think that each time a boy stepped onstage at the Globe as Juliet, the audience was too busy laughing to listen to the balcony scene? Please. To make your article more balanced, you might have mentioned that this debate was going on in our community even before the election. You might… Read more »
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