This is so nutty we are actually kind not completely convinced that it’s real: a woman in the audience of the play Deathtrap was so outraged by a gay kiss that she wrote an insane angry email to the theater. Then the Pioneer Theater Company in Salt Lake City responded brilliantly.
We’re not saying the email is fake. It’s just so over-the-top that it defies logic. Here is her complaint, with our comments:
- “was infuriated with the explicit, homosexual display on stage” (To be clear, we’re talking about a brief kiss that lasts about three seconds.)
- “I realize that, unfortunately, you feel you must appeal to an insignificant minority of patrons by offering ‘edgy’ material. I regret that you feel that way. I have wasted many tickets the last two years by choosing NOT to attend plays that were offensive and vulgar.” (She’s probably referring to The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Gaaaaaaay!)
- “It took all of my self control as I fumed in my seat for the long minute before intermission. Why was brazen homosexual content not included in the advisory?” (This is a good point. Brazen homosexual content should be included in everything.)
- “I have NEVER been so disgusted and infuriated! I was livid. The decision on the theatre’s part not to divulge repulsive content was irresponsible and negligent!” (Also, the concessions stand was out of Raisinettes, which is a moral outrage on a scale not seen since the sacking of Rome.)
Who gets this bent out of shape about a quick kiss? It’s crazy. It feels almost like a prank email, written by some gay person who wants to make bigots looks even worse.
I have to ask, and I do so in all sincerity: In putting on Deathtrap, we are “play acting,” and in this particular play we show two characters carrying out a cold-blooded murder, and then we show them kissing as the motivation for the murder. You object to the kissing, but not to the fact that they’re murderers? You are comfortable with your son witnessing an enacted murder, but not a same sex kiss? …
Based on your letter, I anticipate that I might receive several more on this subject. (I half expect to get other letters of complaint from other patrons who accuse the play of “gay bashing” by revealing the character’s murderous impulses to be a function of their homosexuality—I’ve learned in twenty-three years that there’s nothing we can do that won’t offend somebody). Even if that happens—even if I get twenty letters– the vast majority of our patrons will enjoy the show and regard the kissing “reveal” as a shocking but satisfying plot twist. In that circumstance—if the majority of our patrons don’t feel “betrayed” by our not mentioning the kiss—I would not tell you you’re wrong to be offended, but I would ask you to consider who we’re writing the advisories for: the 80-90% of our patrons who aren’t offended by the element in question, or the 10-20% who are? …
I always hate to lose a patron, but it is, I’ve found, better to lose a patron than risk betraying her trust and offending her repeatedly, something we have apparently done in your case.
Also, delightfully, the theater refused to refund her tickets for Sweet Charity, which is a show about a hooker.