We were so disappointed to see the headline in the July 15 edition, “Rockingham directs MSA to take down ‘Cabaret’ set.”
Two weeks earlier, we had signed a letter circulated by Main Street Arts, laying out the whole unfortunate situation resulting from the pandemic outbreak, and asking for support for their proposal to allow just the “Cabaret” set to remain at the Opera House, as long as it didn’t interfere with other programming or events. It seemed like an open and shut plan, with MSA being happy to dismantle the set if a need for the space arose. That’s why it was particularly sad and upsetting to read that it was summarily asked to remove the set, which of course for anything that large means cut it up.
All productions have a process of “striking the set” when the show is over – that’s once it’s served the purpose of being the supporting background for the play or musical. The production has by then reached hundreds, if not thousands, of people and played an essential part in bringing people together to enjoy a special time and contribute to the economic and cultural health of a community. To require MSA to cut up the set prematurely, when there’s no pressing need for the space, seems illogical.
We have lived in Rockingham since 1968, and much has changed. Some of those changes have been losses, but many of them have been gains. The collaboration of Main Street Arts and Bellows Falls, with MSA productions being staged at the Opera House, is one such gain. It has created a wonderful blend of multiple groups of local and area residents, drawing in overflow crowds, reflecting the many talents of our citizens, and benefiting everyone – our businesses and the general health of our region. It has been a team effort with everyone pulling together. It’s most unfortunate that some folks on the Selectboard were pulling in another direction.
Susie and Jack Peters
Saxtons River, Vt.