Ken AshfordCrimeLeave a Comment

In the wake of the Virginia Tech murders, the Dean of Student Affairs at Yale University has banned the use of all stage weapons in theatrical productions:

In a speech made before last night’s opening show of “Red Noses,” [student director Sarah] Holdren said that {Dean of Student Affairs Betty] Trachtenberg’s decision to force the production to use wooden swords instead of metal swords will do little to stem violence in the world.

“Calling for an end to violence onstage does not solve the world’s suffering: It merely sweeps it under the rug, turning theater — in the words of this very play — into ‘creamy bon-bons’ instead of ‘solid fare’ for a thinking, feeling audience,” she said. “Here at Yale, sensitivity and political correctness have become censorship in this time of vital need for serious artistic expression.”


“I completely understand that the University needs to respond to the tragedy, but I think it is wrong to conflate sensitivity and censorship,” Holdren said in an interview. “It is wrong to assume that any theater that deals with tragic matter is sort of on the side of those things or out to get people; they’re not — they’re out to help people through things like this. I want my show and all shows to be uplifting to people. That’s why I’m upset about this — it’s not because my props were taken — it’s about imposing petty restrictions on art as the right way to solve the problems in the world.”

Put me down as supporting Holdren.

Staged hangings, by the way, are still permitted.  Go figure.