The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Students of On Aging Response to Review

By Nikelia Haines ’15

Dear Ms. Von Arx,

I am writing to you on behalf of the entire cast and production/creative team of On Aging. Upon reading your review of our production in The Lafayette, we felt the urge to express our regret that you missed the point of our show so completely.

Surprisingly enough, all of the points you made in your review that you actually backed up with sufficient credibility were positive. We were so touched to hear about your conversation with John Prytherth; the feedback from him and the other older adults was exactly what we were hoping for. In fact, I spoke to him myself after his second viewing of the show, and he told us how touching and accurate our show was, and even asked if in next year’s show, we might incorporate his story. Your article was a prime example of the very stereotypes of aging we talked about, especially in the way you dismissed Mr. Prytherth’s comments and implied that there was no substance or importance to what he said.

I appreciate your invitation to label your comments as ignorant, because that’s exactly what they were. In your review, you actually emulated several of the ageist stereotypes we addressed in our play, and we are sorry that you didn’t seem to learn anything from our didactic, contemporary theater piece. Even in the ending remark or your article, you stereotyped our show in its comparison to a distasteful food that mostly older adults partake in; however, the comparison’s analogy had little foundation and no credible support.

If your review of On Aging was the only response that we received, the cast and crew might have been slightly disheartened. Fortunately, we conducted statistical analyses after each night of the show in order gauge reliably comprehensive review of the audience reactions to the show. Our compiled results show that out of 189 audience members that took the time to fill out our feedback forms, 90% found the play to be “very entertaining and informative.”

You made commentary in your article about the show “not sitting right” with you, but failed to mention what exactly bothered you; usually in a decent theatrical critique, if you dislike something, you might think about mentioning why, and maybe even suggest a solution. I also suggest that, prior to your next review, you consider researching different styles of theater; if you don’t know anything about Avant-Garde Theater, you won’t understand it, most likely won’t enjoy it, and definitely won’t be able to make an intelligent commentary on it.

This style of theater, aptly named the docu-drama, is meant to be informative and entertaining, so a bit of lecturing is to be expected. There are many different styles of theater, and not all of them allow audience members to sit back and detach. I would agree that it may be an acquired taste, but no less credible than any other by those who have the intelligence to understand it. Again, on behalf of everyone involved in the creative process of On Aging, I would like to extend my apologies that your evening was clearly a waste of time, as the educational and entertainment aspects of the show clearly went over your head.


Nikelia Haines

And the Students of On Aging 

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