Letter: Encouraging drinking? Bad move, Oldcastle

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To the Editor:

An announcement appeared today (May 30) on Oldcastle Theatre Company's Facebook and Instagram pages regarding an upcoming virtual event: "Shots with Shakespeare" Presents Twelfth Night. The announcement ends with: "There's nothing more fun than watching people get drunk while reading Shakespeare." I couldn't disagree more. As a matter of fact, I can think of dozens of things that are more fun than that.

As a co-founder of Oldcastle Theatre Company (OTC) and a recovering alcoholic with 37 years of sobriety, I find it appalling and distressing that Bennington Performing Arts Center (BPAC) would encourage this puerile, irresponsible event in the first place, let alone under the auspices of Oldcastle Theatre Company.

Is this truly the impression the new regime at Oldcastle wants to make on the community? Is this the type of entertainment the new regime at Oldcastle wants to be recognized for? Is this the type of entertainment on which to build a reputation? (The answer to that question is "yes." But what kind of reputation?)

I congratulate BPAC for acquiring the much-needed new roof, I applaud the enthusiasm and passion of the people involved. Bless the actors and their dedication. But I worry about BPAC/Oldcastle if this misguided event is indicative of the direction it is taking. The full headline of today's announcement reads: "Shots with Shakespeare" Presents Twelfth Night. This is how it should never be done!" I couldn't agree more.

Gary Allan Poe,

Norwich, Conn.

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