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Biting Back



A recent letter writer expressed concerns ("The Shark Bites," Feb. 18) about the Ferndale Repertory/Arcata Playhouse production of the Three Penny Opera — a collaboration of the 20th century German playwrights Bertoldt Brecht and Kurt Weil. The letter was particularly concerned that this production wasn't faithful to the intent and language of these two playwrights, and as a result, diminished both the message and the theatrical experience.

I have seen other productions of this play and didn't find that our local one was so far off from what I have seen in the past (although the set design is clearly unique). I decided to do some research. Here's what I found: The script is the only translation that is sanctioned by the Weil Foundation for production in the U.S. Thus, although the local production company might have wanted to use another translation (assuming one is available), it is prohibited from doing so. The film that the letter writer mentioned (as adhering more closely to the original language and emphasis) was not approved by either Weil or Brecht, and in fact both authors sued the production company (for its handling of the script and music) and prevailed in court.

Our local theater companies struggle to deliver quality plays to a very diverse audience. They are to be commended (and supported) for doing so. I applaud them, and express my gratitude for their dedication and commitment to excellence. I hope that the community at large agrees with me.

Michele Fell-Casale, Eureka

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