Voces Clamantium

by The Dartmouth | 8/8/08 3:56am

Setting the record on state politics

To the Editor:

I am writing to clear up a couple of points from The Dartmouth's Tuesday article on state political races ("Local state politicians prepare for November races," Aug. 5).

First, I do not think that all Dartmouth students should support me simply because I am an alumnus.

Rather, I hope that any Dartmouth student that shares my democratic ideals and commitment to public service supports me, because those are the issues I care about.

Second, I have been in a number of meetings recently about the serious problem of the Route 4 Bridge with officials from the local, state and the national level.

I have also met with local businesses to discuss their concerns.

I'm not sure of the context of the quote, but former Representative Danforth's comments in the article about being the only one to meet with officials about this issue are simply not accurate.

There has been a concerted effort among the elected officials that I have worked with to resolve this situation as expeditiously as possible.

State Representative Matthew Houde '91,


An Artistic Insult

To the Editor:

The Dartmouth's ill-informed and deceptive portrayal of the New York Theatre Workshop residency in Tuesday's edition ("New York Theatre Workshop returns to campus for 17th year," Aug. 5) both narrows artistic discourse at the College and reflects poorly on The Dartmouth as a publication.

NYTW has come to Dartmouth every summer for the past 17 years to enjoy a respite from the harsh criticism of the New York theater scene.

It is a unique opportunity for the Dartmouth community to see and to collaborate on new works featuring talented New York theater professionals.

The Dartmouth is specifically asked every summer not to write reviews of these pieces, yet there is no way to characterize Lam's article as anything but a preview-review.

The following paragraph is characteristic of the critical tone of Lam's article:

"[There is] little doubt that the result [of Ameriville] will be a shallow and disjointed introduction that fails to measure up to the many existing works in the same vein. Another likely disappointment is Punkplay..."

Since no substantial sources about these plays are currently available -- none have been performed, and some have yet to be written -- we can only assume that Lam gathered all her information from the one-paragraph blurbs provided in the brochures.

Is this an acceptable level of research for a theater review? Is this a passable example of unbiased journalism?

The seven other students of Theater 65 are in agreement with me.

Having interned with NYTW over the past week as part of our class, we have come to know them and appreciate their work in a way that Lam has not bothered to do.

Her offhand dismissal of developing plays is unfair, both to the artists and to those members of the college community who may be deterred from seeing exciting theater by inane speculation.

And the fact that The Dartmouth would publish such an article is appalling.

Jay Ben Markson '10