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Letters to the editor

May 12, 2008

Ideas for growth at The Maryland Theatre



To the editor:

In recent weeks, you have published at least two major editorial columns devoted to The Maryland Theatre. One noted the departure of a former leader, the second welcomed a new one.

As it happens, for most of the past two years I have been serving as theater editor for the MAIN ARTery, a news magazine which appears every two months and covers all manner of arts, including theater, in the Interstate 81 corridor of the Quad State region.

In this capacity, I have become rather familiar with most of the activities and operations that support theater in our sections of Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. I suspect many of these activities might prove productive for the lovely, spacious Maryland Theatre.

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The strongest newspaper theatrical supporter in this region is The Winchester Star. This is the only daily in our region that actually reviews theatrical events at Shenandoah University, the equity productions of Wayside Theatre (in nearby Middletown and the community Winchester Little Theatre.

The Old Opera House Theatre Company, a community group in Charles Town, W.Va., operates the Op Shop weekdays with volunteer help to sell donated costumes, books, bric-a-brac and antiques to help the OOH. The Maryland might try a similar store, or perhaps limit itself to display such items on sale in its ample lobby.

Several area theaters sponsor "Taste of the Town" during which local restaurants offer unique food and drink samples at bargain prices. The OOH also has an annual theater night benefit at the Charles Town Races, as well as growingly popular theater and antique dinner auction.

Perhaps the most active theater building in this entire region is The Capitol in downtown Chambersburg, Pa. The box office there is next door to a downtown box office for the Caldonia equity summer group known as the Totem Pole Playhouse.

It might be possible for The Maryland Theatre to serve as a central theatrical box office for other local community, dinner and academic theaters as well as its own programs.

The management of The Capitol also believes it is better to have a seat filled at a lower price than just sitting idle and empty. Thus, classic Hollywood films and musicals are shown twice at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. every other Wednesday. There may not be many sellouts, but costs seem to cover film rental and overhead, and local youth and adults become used to visiting The Capitol Theatre. The Maryland Theatre has shown films, but not with such frequency.

The Capitol also allows use of its stage by local community theatrical groups. It is home, for example, to the Chambersburg Community Theatre. At least five productions take place on 25 afternoons and evenings over the year.

David Woods
Hedgesville, W.Va.

Why we cling to our guns and our religion



To the editor:

I do not join my peers in labeling Barack Obama an elitist for his recent insulting remarks about us "rural Americans," or to inform him that "rural Americans" are the those who have time and again rushed to defend our country in times of need.

Rather, I wish to address the items of his contemptuous remark and why we cling to our religion and guns. Plain and simple, both make us free and define who we are.

We hold dear to our faith because it grounds us, provides us with direction and the answers to all of life's questions. We do not have to ponder why we are here, what we are to do or how to conduct ourselves. It is written - plain and simple - in black and white, with the most important words in red. It is our guide and compass, our shelter in time of need and has provided comfort and resolve in the most trying times.

It is a rock to cling to, and a foundation upon which to build our lives.

We "rural Americans" cling to our guns to preserve freedom and provide protection and substance. Many times in our history it has been the citizen soldier who has preserved our liberty.

That is why the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment. Not for sporting purposes, but rather to prevent the entrenchment of a tyrannical federal government.

The government should be afraid of those it governs and their ability to effect change. They are the most important part of our "check and balance" system. Our guns also provide us with personal freedom, and the ability to defend our families, our property and ourselves without having to rely on others.

Did you know that supermarkets only have on hand 72 hours worth of food at any given time? Their supply is based 100 percent upon the trucking industry, which is tied directly to the fuel industry. We all now how that is going right now.

Our guns provide us with a means to feed our families by harvesting wild game, either out of choice, or in a time of crisis, out of necessity.

"Rural Americans" have time and again risen up to defend our country in times of need, often created by the ill-advised actions of the "elite," and have watered the tree of liberty with their blood and that of tyrants.

Sometimes we laugh at the "God, Guns and Guts" bumper stickers that we see on the back of rusty pickup trucks. But, my friends, there is great truth in that statement. I think I might have to find one of those for myself.

S. Chris Anders

Sharpsburg

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