All it took was a threat from five radical college students to do the deed. It was the summer of 2020, and the George Floyd affair was at its peak. It seemed the whole nation was bending the knee to Black Lives Matter, an organization ideally positioned to cash in on racial upheaval – and whose true beliefs and agenda had yet to be unmasked.
As contributions poured in from organizations across the country – the BLM Foundation raised a stunning $90 million in 2020, and how they have spent it has become a serious question – guilt-ridden citizens trendily signaled their compliance, and American institutions all but surrendered.
The story of one grand theater in Sarasota, Florida, the Asolo Repertory Theater, capitulating to BLM-style militants serves as a case study in the decline and fall of American culture. It is expressed in a letter from this author to the Managing Director of the institution, Linda DiGabriele, which reads, in part:
It appears obvious something has dramatically changed at Asolo – and not for the better.
First, on an almost empty stage in Our Town, we watched boys playing girls, and vice-versa, deliberately generating confusion, a stark and disturbing attempt to deconstruct traditional gender categories and force-feed unwitting patrons, now showing up in diminishing numbers, the LGBTQIA+ agenda. Thornton Wilder won a Pulitzer Prize for exploring the importance of all people’s simple yet meaningful lives, but you have corrupted it into an exercise in non-binary advocacy. Asolo’s production of Our Town is a masterpiece of mainstream theater gone woke.
But if your agenda wasn’t entirely apparent in Our Town, all doubt was removed in your selection of Grand Horizons. Billed as “a moving and heartwarming drama about the true meaning of family, friends, and love,” it offers up not only the glorification of adultery and gratuitous scatological language but a jaw-dropping scene of gay fondling in the setting of this classic theater and its grand tradition. It was, in a word, shocking.
We abandoned both plays after the first act, and were not alone – joining a stream of patrons heading to their vehicles while openly grousing about the production. We would have walked out earlier but for courtesy.
We are aware of the “anti-racist” agenda demanded by five radical students at FSU, to which you and your artistic director Mr. Edwards have evidently fully surrendered – we see the anti-racism screed on your website. Promoting diversity is a fine objective. But instead of selecting plays that actually explore and elevate the black experience, you have chosen naked counter-cultural advocacy, a path that has succeeded in flattening one institution after another – classic cultural devolution, or dare I say cultural Marxism.
Far from promoting genuine diversity, you are presenting works designed to tear asunder marriage and the traditional family through ridicule, in some cases cleverly borrowing classic works and authors and perverting their work to suit transparent socio-political objectives. Not only will my family refuse to be a part of this tragic effort to appease those who wish to redefine the institution, and decline to attend the remaining play for which we purchased tickets, but we will sadly grieve the passing of a cultural institution and cease all contributions unless and until there are changes that return Asolo to its former glory.
Such as it is, we strongly urge you to reconsider the direction in which you have taken this once-proud and magnificent institution before it has been entirely destroyed.
The expression “get woke, go broke” has rarely been more applicable than in the case of this theater and so many like it across the land. Ask Hollywood about their incredible shrinking audience for the Oscars (save for this year’s humiliating slap heard ’round the world). If societal forces fail to detoxify these institutions that willingly surrendered their souls to those who would destroy them, then the likely prospect of seeing many of their patrons walk away may be the only thing that will reverse this curse of “anti-racism,” before it swells to a pandemic of its own.
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