Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Note from the Director of Tobacco Road

Our country has a great legacy of Theatre and Literature.

When audiences and readers choose to apply contemporary morés and attitudes toward historical works, this legacy becomes threatened. The lessons of history become moot, and the windows of enlightenment and revelation begin to close.

Great writers’ works would have been greatly diminished had they given consideration to the sensibilities of future readers and audiences. The tragic characters of Eugene O’Neill and Thomas Wolfe did not have a cadre of electronic media pop psycho-analytics to advise them from a safe distance on how to behave. Mark Twain’s characters in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn engaged in emotional and psychological struggles not only of love and morality, but of historical injustice and amorality. Diversity Training classes were not an optional source of exoneration.

Tobacco Road’s tragicomic Jeeter Lester is begat from the futility of his time and circumstance. His refuge is a pitiable belief in a return to a system of attaining a value as a human being that has long disappeared. His behavior, both immoral and amoral, is a result of his own narrow window of enlightenment.

Here’s hoping that our own contemporary morés and attitudes may be enlightened by this thought provoking and engaging lesson of history presented in this entertaining form of theatre. I think our sensibilities are up to the challenge.

Janelle Cochrane, Director

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