I'm MAD MAD MAD!!! (aka Melin goes ballistic!)

Unrelated to the board.

The sixth grade play was tonight. “Tom Sawyer.” Maybe 25-30 parts with some lines, and the remaining 90 or so kids in FULL COSTUME, with makeup, sitting in rows of bleachers in front of the stage, doing the singing. One group of about 25 of the chorus, including my kid (Middle Son), dressed in choir robes and such and up and onstage for the scene of Tom and Huck’s and Jim’s funeral. Working hard, having fun, looking good. The kids all did a great performance.

So what is Mom so pissed off about?

The goddamned m-f-ing programs! Hell, Middle Son could have done a better job of putting them together here at home on the 'puter. They looked like garbage. And, get this:



Excuse me? Shit, even on Broadway the members of the chorus get their names in the program. These kids attended every rehearsal, put together their costumes, did their makeup, learned their songs, helped construct the set. AND THEY HAVE NOTHING IN THE PROGRAM TO EVEN SHOW THAT THEY WERE THERE!!!

I save all the programs from the things my kids are in, from music concerts and plays to First Communion and stuff like that. Why on earth should I save THIS program?

And what does this say to the kids? Goddammit, I am PISSED OFF!!!

This is a goddamned company town! There were people in that audience tonight whose names you would know if I told them to you, and a bunch more who are techies for the entertainment industry. Wouldn’t you think that in this town whatever idiot was in charge of the programs would be ESPECIALLY careful to make sure that everybody’s name was in the program?

What a slap in the face to all those other kids, and what an insult to them and to their parents. Kids LOVE to see their names in programs – I saw several kid’s faces fall, then quickly mask themselves, when they saw that they weren’t privileged enough to earn an acknowledgement of their presence in the play. I guess the idiot in charge of programs was telling the “excess” kids that, well, we have to find something for you to do because you’re in the sixth grade, but you aren’t really part of what’s going on, so we’re not going to bother to list you and give you any credit for what you’ve done.

I am SO angry right now that I don’t even know what to do about it. I’m thinking of emailing the principal the link to this thread. I’m thinking of sending a letter to the school board (small town, maybe 4500 students in the district all told), with copies to every adult who participated in putting together the show. I’m certainly NOT putting a check for the Educational Foundation in the mail – what, you want me to donate money so you can put on a show and insult my kid?

And while I’m ranting, dammit – THEY SHOULD CONFISCATE CELL PHONES, PHOTO FLASH EQUIPMENT, AND PAGERS AT THE DOOR! At least three times in the performance some asshole’s phone rang. Literally dozens of times some inconsiderate asshole, not caring about anybody else, set off a flash, while taking a picture. Besides the rudeness of it all (and we suffer a lot in this town from the “I’m the most important person in the world” syndrome), it’s f-ing dangerous! When the lights are low, as in the scene in the cave, and some asshole flashes a light like that, there’s a very real risk of momentarily blinding the performers and causing an accident. Ah, let me tell you, that’s one event I would have been HAPPY to be handing out my card at!

The principal got up at the beginning and made a pretty little speech about the play. While she was at it she should have asked everybody to check their phones and pagers and make sure they were turned off, and emphasized the dangers – and rudeness-- in flash photography.

I’ll end my rant now. But I am still PISSED! (hey Ed! It ain’t at you! :wink: )


print out this post of yours(slight modifications might be in order though) and distribute it to the parents in the school. im sure most of them will agree with you.

you are right, it is an insult and somebody should apologize.


Course, she might wanna edit it a bit before distribution. :slight_smile:

Melin … amen. I’d have been all over someone (especially if my kid was one of the ones that DID get listed) to see that. It’s completely unfair, unthinking, callous, and shows absolutely no respect for the children that contributed.

People suck.

Mercifully, I can say that every show I was ever a part of not only listed all cast, chorus, and extras, but the crew as well. Credit where it’s due, and all that. What the hell does it say about a place (and the mindless jerk that did the programs) to ignore half of those that made a production possible?

Here, here!

As Melin can attest, a little insensitivity can go a long way.

What probably happened was the program was put off 'til the last minute and just thrown together.

People with cell phones and beepers at a performance should be brought on stage and berated, eviserated and castrated.

Now that’s an encore.

I disagree! Send it out as is! :wink: These callous schmucks have to know how important this is. Damn, my Mom still pulls out old programs and such, and I appreciate that she kept them, much as I hated it at the time. A polite letter will get a polite and inconsequential acknowledgment. They need to see a rant. And a swear word or two.


P.S. As a former Stage Wally, I thank Suzeanne for her support. Credit the crew!

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Problem with that approach is that Middle Son could suffer if principal really pissed. But I empathize, Melin. It truly isn’t fair to the kids who have been left out.

Poor Sam Clemens, taking another twist in the grave!

Do let the incompentants know their grievous error.(It sounds like a rush job)

If you have the energy, to phrase your concern in a Twainian manner might be especially satisfying-can’t think of a particular work to paraphrase, though. Any helpers?

Otherwise, tell yer story, and scrapbook the program with your own credits written in on the blank page. Go, Mom!

Amen, Melin! Ya know, programs are not hard to do. Our High School prints up a damn good program, if I say so myself, and it doesn’t take hours of grueling work. The hardest part is spelling people’s names right. I’ve seen some shitty-ass programs, going to high-school level productions around town, and the worst, IMHO, are the ones photocopied on a 8.5x11 white paper, and the toner falls off when you bend it. Ugh!
As for asshole audience members: In my HS company, we don’t allow flash photography, thank God, and through five productions, no one’s broken that rule. That is one thing I would find very nerve-wracking.
And for cell phones/pagers: Let me tell you a secret. (I speak only for myself here) They’re not that annoying. Ideally, you’re so much in character, some sorry little beeping won’t faze you. When it happens when I’m on, I’m mad because he’s annoying the hell out of the audience members.
I say you offer to make the damn program next time. Hell, I’ll make the damn program for you, with my MacOS 7.5 and ClarisWorks 3.0. I’ll show the bastards.
That’s some quality bitchin, there, Melin, good form.

JMcC, San Francisco
“Hear the voices in my head, I swear to God it sounds like they’re snoring”

Contact the parents of some of the other kids in the chorus and come up with a plan – perhaps send a letter signed by all the parents you can get – make that a calm, reasoned letter with no profanity. Sorry, I understand where you’re coming from (I have a son too), but a rant can come across as just a hysterical over-protective stage mother. BTW, you said you save all your child’s programs,etc. – has this happened before? There is the possibility that it was an oversight, or as someone said, the program was thrown together at the last minute by an unthinking clerk. How about a telephone call to the principal, or whoever was in charge of the production – again, a calm, non-profane call: “some of us parents of the kids in the chorus were very disappointed that their names weren’t in the program – was this an oversight?” You just might get an apology and explanation.

Hey, I agree with just about everything Melin said.


The bit about pagers is a little harsh. Some folks are on call 24/7, and have to keep the pager on. Some of them have kiddos in band & concerts & plays, too. There ARE, however, things one should do to minimize the potential disruption to others - my pager gives me the choice of beeping or vibrate, so I set it to vibrate. I try to arrive early & sit near an exit, and leave the auditorium to use my (turned off in the auditorium) cell phone to return any calls.

We now return this thread to its original topic…I sure hope the school sees fit to reprint some complete programs - those are always fun to show the aunts & uncles & grandparents.

Sue from El Paso

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

Any pager worth its batteries has a vibrate option, though.

Now for my bit: what fuckheads!!! When I was in high school theater (for 4 years) the programs were as much a part of the production as the set and the costumes. Someone designed the cover, all the people had a one paragraph biography, and not only was the cast AND crew listed, but the person who made the programs was too! What the hell kind of message does it send to the kids…they weren’t important enough to be recognised??

Teeming Millions: http://fathom.org/teemingmillions
“Meat flaps, yellow!” - DrainBead, naked co-ed Twister chat
O p a l C a t

As much as anger is justified in this situation, it is recommended by all anger management and conflict resolution managers that you need to get all the information first before you express the anger, let alone act on the anger.

E.g., Consider this scenario: You throw a huge fit in front of the PTA about the program swearing up and down about what an asshole the program-maker was. Then some mother steps up and apologizes. She was in charge of the program, but, three days before the play, her mother died and she forgot about the program.

Well, then you’d look like the fool for (unknowingly) attacking the bereaved.

Again, your current anger is justified. But you should channel it first to gather more info: Who did the program – a volunteer or a school secretary? Why didn’t they put in all the names? Who was in charge of the assembly and had the responsibility for policing the rude parents?

Once you get this info, then you’ll know more clearly what your next step should be. Let the anger motivate you to resolve the problem so that it doesn’t happen again, not to seek revenge.

(Oh, BTW, it may not be too late, given enough pressure, to get the school administration to print up a revised and corrected program for all the students to take home with them.)