Letters to the Editor

COMMENTS ON A REVIEW

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to Tania Chatila’s review of the Glendale Theatre’s production of “The Lesbian Witches of Ojai” that is currently performing in the Studio Theatre. Admittedly, we’ve had many laughs over this article, during the past few days, yet it presents an issue that needs to be addressed.

To begin with, your initial synopsis of the play “Under the Surface” reads that it is about “four obsessed gamers.” “Obsessed Gamers” is a negative stereotype, one that we were in fact attacking with that very show. Therefore, this reads as a bit of an insult.

Secondly, there is no “r” in the playwright’s name. A name is the birthright of every human being, and it is common courtesy to try and spell and pronounce it correctly. Granted, it is not the easiest name in the world, but certainly not the most difficult.

When phonetic sounds that never existed within it before start to appear, it seems to be a result of laziness. The same playwright also did NOT direct the plays. That honor goes to George Mackey (“One Bullet”), Cesar Perez (“The Lesbian Witches of Ojai”), and Brent Falco (“Something Else,” and “Under the Surface”).

I know that you found many of the themes in the play “hard to grasp,” “underdeveloped,” and “seemed like lines thrown together in an attempt to tell a story.” This is often the case when you fall asleep during the show and wake up in the middle. You tend to miss certain key details.

I’m told this instance was witnessed by a large number of people. The rest of the audiences didn’t seem to have trouble staying awake, despite the lack of air-conditioning in our modest theatre.

In fact, given our general audience response, and the very favorable review we received in the L.A. times, we can’t help but wonder, “What show were you watching?”

It is not a matter that you didn’t like the show. It is not for everyone. We fully support the use of free speech and are proud that you are exercising that right.

However, in your position, there is something else you should be practicing. That is “Responsible Journalism.” That means checking your grammar and spelling. It also means backing up all your points with thoroughness and intelligence that worked very hard on this production, and watching the entirety of the performance.

I sincerely hope that in your future career of journalism, you will take heed of these points and practice more responsibility. It will give you an advantage that I’m sure will prove invaluable to yourself and the public for with you write.

– Brian Dembkoski, Gagig Kevorgian, Ronnie Morgan, Helen M. Huss, Elizabeth Saryan, Ian Felchin, Rachelle Horak, Lloyd E. Flyer, Brent Falco, Meline Tovmasian, Travis Riner, George Mackey, Amanda Martindale, Hannah Stone, Elisa Hoyos, Cielo Ruiz, Amanda Peterson, Mike Sapienza, Jeff Leatherwood, Jacqueline Campa, Benjamin Magallanes Jr., Brian Dynda, Brian Rambally

P.S. We are a mere 15 minute drive to West Hollywood. … I think it’s okay for you to mention the word “Lesbian” in the headline. Must we be so close-minded?

RESPONSE

In response to the letter you wrote me regarding my article on “The Lesbian Witches of Ojai,” I would first like to take FULL responsibility for the editing mistakes made in the story. I would like to offer my most sincere apologies for misspelling the playwright’s name and for accrediting the director’s falsely.

However, in response to the rest of the letter, I found it to be a bit childish. You say “it is no matter that [I] didn’t like the show,” however I feel that is exactly the point you were attacking.

I would also like to clear any previous notions that I “fell asleep during the show.” In fact, I remember to a pin the different scenes and plot outlines of each play. Maybe I was simply resting my head on my hand because I was bored with the production.

And to be honest, I don’t remember anyone coming up to me to check if I was in fact sound asleep. And I hardly doubt that anyone can really testify that they saw my eyes close during half the show, my chest heaving in and out, for a nap, especially in the dim light. To me, that simply sounds like a rumor being spread in an attempt to justify your inabilities to accept the fact that I didn’t like the play.

I still stand on my opinion of the play, believing that the themes and plots were indeed underdeveloped.
Finally, as for the remark made accusing me of being “close-minded,” to me, that is merely a shallow assumption. Just because I didn’t mention the word “Lesbian” in the headline, does not at all mean that I am close minded. In fact, the one play I actually praised as being “genuinely entertaining” in the story was the “Lesbian Witches of Ojai.”

“Mixing humor and witty writing, the play touches upon issues of sexuality that are sure to provide a laugh or two.” Notice that I never did even mention once that the play was inappropriate in any way because of its content, I actually went on to say that it was the only play I really liked. I don’t think there is even a hint of close-mindedness there.

I am sure that the cast, crew and production team did in fact work very hard. But, that doesn’t mean that I have no right not to like the play. I will apologize for the technical errors that were made, those are not acceptable. However, as for the rest of your response, it seems to me that you just cannot handle the fact that someone out there didn’t enjoy the production.

– Tania Chatila,
Editor-in-Chief