Letters

It is true that ''artistically-minded affluent liberals'' still make up the majority of theatergoers in some institutions, but not all of them. We were founded as a ''professional theatre in the community service.'' Links to the people who experience our work are critical to the way we think. Part of our mission is to help kids who have not responded to traditional educational models. Comprehensive support services, such as in-service training for public school teachers, study guides, preview workshops, and discussion with our audiences about their goals and needs, are all part of what we do. We use our theater pieces to provide opportunities for the audience to make thematic links with their lives. We don't assume that everyone should love a certain play because we do or because it is held to be a masterpiece.

The theater must compete with movies in SurroundSound and Dolby. We can compete only if we find the courage to think of theater as something more than entertainment. This means that we, as a theater community, need to broaden our own field of vision to encompass people with experiences and ways of looking at things that might not be like our own.

Floyd Rumohr
Chekhov Theatre Ensemble
Manhattan


Dead On Arrival

Re Barry Walters's ''They Live!'' [September 15]: It's nice to know that somebody enjoyed the resurrection of Bauhaus. I saw the quartet in Boston and found it to be the most disappointing (if not depressing) show of the year. I guess Peter Murphy's entrance via a wide-screen TV for ''Double Dare'' should have clued me in that this was to be a phoned-in performance. The lack of enthusiasm and nonexistent chemistry displayed by the band made me feel as if I were watching two bands thrown together to make a quick buck instead of one group playing together because they enjoyed it.

But what did I expect? The last time I saw Peter Murphy before that, his grave was being dug by a little-known opening act called Nine Inch Nails--a kick in the eye, indeed!

Lauren Wissot
Manhattan


Intern Net

Re your special section last week on the White House sex scandal:

The coup d'etat launched by moneyed conservative interests is cresting. Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr has released a wealth of salacious details into the feeding trough of cyberspace. In a country with competing strains of puritanism and sexual hypocrisy, such an action is guaranteed to provoke a visceral reaction.

Now we are swept into impeachment hearings in a charged, nonreflective atmosphere, with the congressional party in power determining the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors without a net and without concern for due process. One branch of our government is trying to topple a president who was twice elected by the will of the people--people who had not been unaware of his sexual peccadilloes. Notice that there was nothing about Whitewater, Travelgate, Vince Foster, or any of the other original pretexts for indictment in the released report. They will bring him down by all means necessary.

Kathi Berke
Queens


Referend Him

Why not leave the question of Clinton's fate to the American people? We can exercise our democratic right in the November congressional elections. Voters who want to see Clinton impeached can vote Republican. Those who prefer to see the investigation come to a speedy close should vote for Democrats. By making the elections a referendum on Clinton, the voters can best decide what should happen.

Dr. John Chittick
Harvard University


Crowning Around

I guess Jesse Berrett is old enough to have been a teenager in the early '40s, seeing how in his article ''Swing, Kids!'' [September 8], he basically called neo-swing bands a bunch of poseurs.

The bands Berrett speaks of are fun to listen to and see live. I've seen Amazing Royal Crowns and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies in small bars around L.A., and they're great. Let people enjoy this music for a while.

Joel Alesch
Los Angeles, California


Monica's Man

AMID THE WAVES of witty banter that make up the Voice music section, I much appreciated Craig Seymour's piece ''The Boy Is Whose?'' [August 4] on ''Brandy vs. Monica.'' He delivered. I was astonished by Seymour's far-ranging familiarity with rap, r&b, and hip hop, and persuaded by his reasoning that Monica's CD is the better. Go, Voice, for printing such informative criticism.

Simon Hearn
Vancouver, British Columbia


Ms. Interpretation

Self-victimization passes so frequently for feminist critique that it's usually not worth noting. However, Rebecca Spence's response to J. Hoberman's review of Neil LaBute's Your Friends & Neighbors, claiming that the film was ''one of the most misogynistic films to be released in recent years,'' was beyond the pale.

A film that portrays a loathsome, narcissistic, woman-hating bully is no more likely to be misogynistic than a World War II movie portraying Hitler is likely to support the Holocaust. For this to be the case the film's point of view would have to empathize with the character or condone his actions. The fact that Jason Patric's character verbally abuses his victims into acquiescence and even cinematic nonexistence is self-evidently damning to him, not women. Perhaps Patric's brilliant embodiment of his character has you mistaking art for insult.

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