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Censoring words? 
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Post Censoring words?
In your production, did you cut the "N" word?
If you used it, did you get complaints??


Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:52 pm
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Tony Winner
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No, we didn't cut the N word. It's used appropriately in a historical context. That said, it wasn't a high school production.

By contrast in a production of Show Boat done a few years later, we did cut the one instance of the N word that appears in the revival book. The director determined it didn't add anything to the scene and changed the word to "negro" - the negative intent was conveyed by the actor. I don't think this would work for Ragtime at all.

We get complaints on every show, but no more or less than usual on these two shows. The use of the F word in A Chorus Line resulted in many more complaints.


Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:20 am
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If you censored it, it wouldn't make any sense.

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Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:51 am
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I work for a symphony that is doing the musical Ragtime, along with a local theatre group. My boss and the conductor (who haven't even seen the show) have decided to cut the N word.
IMO, it is an integral part of the show. I can't even imagine another word you could use in its place!


Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:49 am
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I've already posted a response in another topic, so I'll just quote it!

Quote:
Becuse we are a high school and our community is fairly conservative, we cut out the n-word (except in one song) and replaced it with other words, like "colored", or "boy" (said really insultingly). If you didn't know that we had changed the words, you never would have guessed.

When we performed at the Ohio State Thespian Conference we kept the n-word in because we thought that the audience would be able to handle it.

In front of our community, we didn't want the n-word to distract from the meaning of the show. We wanted people to focus on the message of the song/scene rather than saying "Ooo, there goes [insert name of kid playing the part] saying the n-word."

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Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:05 pm
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Our school required that we cut most of the language. The one time we didnt cut the N word was when Coalhouse sings, in his Soliloquey I think,
"I'm not their N___."

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Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:52 am
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^^ It's in "Justice" (I'm not some fool / I'm not their n***** / I will have what's fairly owed me / and till then I will not maaaaaaaaaaarrry....) 8)

Personally, I'm completely opposed to the idea of censoring "the n-word" in Ragtime. It's integral to the racial tension that the show is basically based on.

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Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:17 am
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LittleRedLovesTheater wrote:
Our school required that we cut most of the language.


That's ridiculous.

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Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:34 am
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I was in a professional production of "Ragtime" in Baltimore, Maryland from August 2006 to November 2006. We did not censor the show at all. We received a few angry letters, as well as complaints during intermission from those offended by the language. After someone in the audience threw a shoe at Willie Conklin, we started making an announcement before the show started saying that there is some very strong language in the show and that our theatre never censors shows. We perform the script that was performed on Broadway (except for Fiddler on the Roof. We use the national tour script for that every time we've done that). We also said that we expect our audience members to be as mature as those who go see the show in New York and just take that into consideration, if you are easily offended.

The teen theatre that I just finished "Les Misérables: School Edition" at developed "Ragtime: School Edition" with MTI in 2004. They had just finished their first run of "Ragtime" at the mainstage theatre and we usually do shows that the mainstage theatre just did or is planning on doing (which means we'll probably do "Sweeney Todd" next year! Can't wait!) and the owner/resident director of the theatre called MTI and had them develop a school edition, and now the school edition is performed all over the country. I did not see this production, but I know quite a few people who were in it (I know the Coalhouse, the Tateh, the Father, Edgar, and the Little Girl) and many who saw it, as well and they said that there was not much censorship in it.

I don't think it should be censored at all. The only thing that I could see actually being censored is the N-word. Most of the other "controversial" lines are things you'd find in any high school show.


Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:16 am
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Um doesn't it provide historical authenticity by using it?

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Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:13 pm
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