BREAKING: Wendy MacLeod Withdraws “The Good Samaritan”

Today at 5:17 p.m. in an email sent to students and faculty,  Professor of Drama and Playwright-in-Residence Wendy MacLeod announced that she will be withdrawing her play “The Good Samaritan” and cancelling the spring show in the Bolton. The Common Hour discussion of the play and related issues will still take place, but MacLeod will not be in attendance.

The circulated script raises important issues, and tomorrow’s panel will still take place at Common Hour.  However, I will not be participating, in the hopes that the community can get to issues larger than a single play.  I welcome the chance to dialogue with students later, in a less public format.

Students are still encouraged to attend the discussion tomorrow.

The email in its entirety  can be found below:

Dear Kenyon community,

Out of respect for the concerns of students and members of the faculty, I have chosen to withdraw my play The Good Samaritan and cancel the spring Bolton show. I do not want to put my students in the difficult position of choosing between working on my play and supporting their fellow students.  I also want to allow time for the senior major who was designing the lights to find another project to serve as his senior thesis.  To be clear, this is solely my decision as the administration has supported the principles of freedom of expression.

The circulated script raises important issues, and tomorrow’s panel will still take place at Common Hour.  However, I will not be participating, in the hopes that the community can get to issues larger than a single play.  I welcome the chance to dialogue with students later, in a less public format.

The play began after I first heard about the Guatemalan teenagers who had been freed from an egg farm in Marion, where they had been working without pay and living in dire conditions.  I was struck by the fact that this had taken place less than 50 miles away from our privileged campus, so I tried to imagine what might happen if these two worlds collided.  Whether I had the right to tell this story is a valid question, but given the current political climate, I felt it was important to try.   I know some struggled with the script’s satiric elements, but Freud aptly wrote that humor is about “bringing the repressed into light.”

I am grateful to those who helped me to research the play, both in conversation and by sharing relevant articles, and I’m particularly indebted to a beautiful book which I recommend to you: Tell me How it Ends; An Essay in 40 Questions by Valerie Luiselli, who served as a translator for migrant children.  And I must acknowledge the students and colleagues who had already begun work on the production.

I’m also grateful to Victor Rodriguez-Nuñez and Kate Hedeen for allowing me to take their Spanish classes for three years– but they should not be blamed for my many mistakes in Spanish.   As the play develops, I will continue to be in conversation with directors and playwrights from the professional LatinX theater community.

Respectfully,

Wendy MacLeod

James E. Michael Playwright-in-Residence

Professor of Drama

One response

  1. Pingback: A Rundown of Today’s Public Forum in Response to “The Good Samaritan” «

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