Corrections or additions?
This article by was prepared for the July 18, 2001 edition of U.S.
1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Between the Lines
We went over to the Princeton University Chapel the
other day for a service celebrating the life of architect Peter
who died July 13 at the age of 54. Among the many things we learned
was that this architect seemed to appreciate the details of a good
piece of music as much as he did a good building.
One of the speakers related a conversation with a doctor, who showed
up at the hospital room on a Monday morning and was surprised to see
Lokhammer, by then terminally ill, doing far better than he had been
on Friday. What was the secret, the doctor wanted to know. My friends
came over and played music for me all weekend, the architect replied.
For a lot of people, music matters, and so do the arts in general.
The writer of the letter below laments the discontinuation of summer
Shakespeare in Princeton. If it were kids’ soccer, he wonders, would
the community have allowed a problem with the facility to curtail
the season? Some might argue that Shakespeare is performed by a small
troupe of professionals, while kids’ sports are open to all. But as
Peter Lokhammer proved, you can also participate in the arts by simply
sitting back and listening.
It is an unhappy thing that Princeton is to be denied
a 2001 season of professionally produced and acted Shakespeare for
lack of a little problem solving (U.S. 1, June 27, "Summer
— Perfect in New York . . . But Not Quite Suitable for
No one proposes that Princeton Rep’s 2000 season of Free Shakespeare
at Community Park North was anything but a grand success. Certainly,
the over 12,000 attendees thought it a wonderful program and
Was it too successful? — Perhaps that was the "rub"
by Nicole Plett in her article. The lack of appropriate improvements
(added parking, lighting, sufficient seating, changing rooms, and
rest rooms, etc.) is a very real concern. Added liability related
to those deficiencies is certainly a consideration. None of those
things are or were insurmountable in the short or long term!
Had the discussion been about municipal liability and inadequately
designed swimming, tennis, soccer or baseball facilities, one could
rest assured that there would have been a temporary fix and a
solution. One would suppose there might have been private funding
as well as grants from government agencies.
I have been a long time financial contributor to Princeton Rep and
have worked long hours on their behalf. "Free Shakespeare"
isn’t really free! Individual donations, corporate gifts and artistic
grants are what make "Free Shakespeare" free. And then there
is the issue of dedicated people who accept nothing less than
and who do their work for love of the art. Such folks are hard to
How could anyone not understand the immediate and long-term
nor see the danger of lost momentum? I can only hope that some of
last year’s 12,000 attendees will tell their government
that art matters.
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