"The Horton Connection"

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THE HORTON CONNECTION

The new Texas Star Theatre
is about to shut its doors

Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 19:14:27 -0400
From: Geralyn Horton Subject: shut up and closed down?

from Stephen Bishop Seely, Associate Artistic Director Texas Star Theatre

Friday, July 29, 2005
PLEASE READ, EDIT, FORWARD, AND REACT

Theatre People,
The new Texas Star Theatre is about to shut its doors. Not due to money or finances, but due to a small, vocal red state, conservative, ignorant, religious right-wing group that is very determined and very organized. This group has exhaustively mailed, emailed, phoned, met, conspired, complained, contacted, harassed, and have begun to break through the VIPs of Granbury that support this theatre. This support team taking the heat includes all the members of our Board of Directors, reporters, writers, newspaper publishers, government officials, school board members, merchant owners, and general audience members.

Their biggest complaint, among many, is that the new Texas Star Theatre is promoting pornography, sex, bad language, vulgarities, obscenity, and encouraging the demoralization of an old historic town. It all started with the use of goddammit in Gypsy. It was used s and has made Texas Star Theatre a target of "Christian Values". These people don't intend to stop until the theatre is closed down and they have booted us out of town.

Thomas Morrissey, an incredible new staff, and I have turned this dying theatre around and have brought a new and broader audience (that has broken box office records) to Granbury and has revived this theatre. Since we have taken over in June, we have had more people attend our shows than any other show in the last three years. We have quadrupled our season subscribers. We have made significant progress. We have just started turning a once melodrama driven community theatre into a world class regional theatre and for the first time; people under the age of 55 are packing into our seats.

We opened our season with Gypsy (which has 4 goddammits in the script). We followed with Grease (which was the highest attended show in the last 3 years). Stars Over Texas, a musical revue of new music, was next and currently, we are in the middle of a four week run of The Boys Next Door.

The Board of Directors and local supportive businesses have been bombarded with phone calls and emails demanding everyone in Granbury BOYCOTT the Texas Star Theatre. The ironic thing is that 80% of our audience is from out of town and we will not be significantly affected by a boycott. The Board of Directors is very concerned with our next show, the very popular I Love You, Youre Perfect, Now Change.

The cast is here and we are in the middle of rehearsals. Although this show ran for 3 years in Dallas, a mere 50 miles from Granbury, the Christian Citizens of Granbury demand that we shut our theatre doors before the show opens on October 6th. This would cause many people, a staff of 15+, actors, designers, directors, etc., to lose their jobs and shrink the job market.

I ask you from one passionate theatre artist to another to please email the list below (together or individually) and let them know you audience for theatre is diverse and larger than the local Baptist church. Please let each one of them know what theatre does on a larger scale, locally and nationally. We need your support. Just one email to let the locals know that you support the efforts of Texas Star Theatre and its commitment to bringing plays and musicals as written to an audience that craves theatre. That in no way our season should be misconstrued as pornographic or that a performance of Grease or I Love You, Youre Perfect . . . should ever be confused as an evening of sex on stage.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL AND ASK EVERYONE AROUND THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD TO HELP KEEP THIS THEATRE OPEN. IF YOU ARE IN TEXAS, THEN PURCHASE A TICKET TO I LOVE YOU, THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, OR GREASE (that has been remounted in Plano, Texas).

We here at Texas Star Theatre have worked too hard to have a thriving theatre in an upswing taken away from us because of a small minority that likes to bully community officials.

Texas Star Theatre will not be censored. We will not become another target. I Love You, Youre Perfect. . . will not be SILENCED or SANITIZED. Locally, we will continue to fight for First Amendment Rights including freedom of expression and will not fall victim to bible beating, homophobic, racist, & sexist hypocrites. If we allow this to happen with the mildest of shows, how are we ever going to be able to produce great theatrical work in the future?
Thank you for your time.
Peace,
Stephen Bishop Seely
Associate Artistic Director
Texas Star Theatre
817-579-5529 ext. 2#
www.TexasStarTheatre.org

P.S. If you would like to learn more about what has been happening locally since we arrived in Granbury, please check out Texas Star Theatre at www.hcnews.com and go to http://www.hcnews.com/soundoff1.htm and write a supportive SOUND OFF that will get published in the paper.

Geralyn Horton, playwright
Newton, MA

http://www.stagepage.info/oneact/_oneact.html

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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