Readers Write (June 15): Guthrie, Super Bowl, men, oil pipeline

  • Updated: June 13, 2014 - 5:45 PM

Decline in season-ticket holders mirrors perceived decline in quality of plays.


The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Photo: Joel Koyama • Star Tribune file 2006,

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The article about the departure of Guthrie Theater Artistic Director Joe Dowling (“The Guthrie after Joe,” June 8) noted that the number of season-ticket subscribers has dropped from about 25,000 to 17,000 since the new theater opened in 2006.

I am a former season-ticket holder. I believe the move to a larger venue with two main stages, and the need to produce more plays, resulted in a reduction of the overall quality of the plays. At Vineland Place, I could rely upon the shows being of the highest quality 90 percent of the time. However, the new venue demands more plays, more directors, more actors and more technical talent. While some plays were excellent, my husband and I sat through a number of mediocre to poor productions, leading us to question whether purchasing and committing to season tickets was a good use of our time and money. The answer was no.

Now we watch the reviews and pick and choose which plays we want to see. We simply cannot assume that because the Guthrie has chosen to put on a play, it will be an excellent production. And that is a great loss. It is my sincere hope that the Guthrie board and its new artistic director will find a way to revitalize the productions and draw people back, including me.

Rebecca Koehler, Shorewood


Here’s a way for pro athletes to give back

Re: the NFL wish list (“NFL had long, pricey Super wish list,” June 8), I wonder if it might not be helpful to remind the powers that be about JFK’s challenge (rephrased): “Ask not what your community can do for you; ask what you can do for your community.”

For starters, they might urge that time be set aside to pack sacks of groceries at local food shelves or to meet with local gang leaders to discuss ways to reduce street crime or to promote the value of education and job training.

Sports figures are heroes whose lifestyles and attitudes are closely imitated by our youth. True, athletes and sports executives write out checks to charities and visit children in hospitals. However, for the Super Bowl and the upcoming baseball All-Star Game, leaders in management and players’ associations could pursue a fresh and innovative direction. Why do they not, along with our civic leaders, make demands upon each other to address needs in our society? What’s wrong with the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA and NHL pushing causes such as these?

James Schacher, Blaine

• • •

There is a simple solution: It’s long past time for the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to make the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) subject to the same open-records laws as most every other state agency. The MSFA should never have been permitted to duck open-records transparency in the first place.

Statute (13.02, Subd. 17) makes clear that the MSFA fits the definition of a state agency, as follows: “ ‘State agency’ means the state, the University of Minnesota, and any office, officer, department, division, bureau, board, commission, authority, district or agency of the state.”

Making the MSFA subject to open-records laws would go much further than the shoulder shrugs, specious claims of confidentiality or the weak proclamations of “that’s how it’s done” that are routinely parroted by our leaders today.

John P. Gavin, Plymouth



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