See 'Haroun and the Sea of Stories'

See 'Haroun and the Sea of Stories'

I graduated from Ashland High School and its theater department two years ago. Back from my second year studying literature and film at Yale, I returned to the AHS theater for Jamie Peck and Betsy Bishop's production of "Haroun and the Sea of Stories."

All I heard prior to seeing the show was that it was a "weird play." After completing my journey to earth's second moon, I would have to agree: It is weird, but it consequently sits among the most profound theatrical experiences I have ever had.

The play asks, "What is the use of stories that aren't even true?" The question, posed in the play by skeptics and storytellers alike, is answered resoundingly in an allegorical, phantasmagorical, meandering, innocent, postmodern tale.

I will not attempt to break down the jumbled symbolism, as that is the point of the audience's journey (which mirrors the journey of Haroun and his cohorts). Rather, I will encourage every artistically, environmentally and/or spiritually conscious member of the Ashland community to make time in their busy schedules to take an evening with this story that isn't even true.

Salman Rushdie's relevant tale about storytelling's effect on our mental and environmental well-being is faithfully and bravely performed. Jamie Peck, who has devoted much of his artistic life to a study of the masks featured in this production, instills in the young performers a sense of wonder, honesty and selflessness that is a credit to a generation commonly characterized as cynical and disconnected. Incidentally, wearing a mask onstage forces the actors to ultimately reveal much more of themselves.

So go — go for the sensory extravaganza, go for the consummate craftsmanship and palpable respect for the art, go to fall in love with characters both absurd and beautiful, and go, most importantly, to be challenged.

Jeffrey Star

Ashland

Plant vandalism is disheartening

What is it about trees that someone doesn't like?

When I went out Sunday morning, an ornamental cherry tree I planted a year ago was on the ground, snapped off in two places. This tree had replaced another that had been destroyed last year, which in turn had replaced another young tree pulled out of the ground and discarded the previous year.

The year before, someone snapped the heads off a 100 or more iris buds just as they were beginning to bloom. The iris buds littered the sidewalk.

All this plant vandalism, along with almost weekly assaults on the wooden fence, has occurred in the 600 block of East Main Street. Other trees, bushes, signs and fences both up and down the street also been subject to vandalism. It's disheartening. We're offering a reward of $250 for information on the person or persons who regularly vandalize our neighborhood.

David Runkel

Ashland

Robertson offers what district needs

Regarding the Board of Directors for Jackcon County Rural Fire District 5, Bill Robertson offers everything we need in our elected officials: no conflicts of interest, proven ability, experience, brains, wide-ranging knowledge, practicality, thrift and a desire to serve. We must elect people like Bill Robertson to public office. Please vote for him.

Brent Thompson

Ashland

See the SOU Jazz Ensemble May 27

Have you heard the SOU Jazz Ensemble lately? If so, you are no doubt going to attend their final concert of the term at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 27, at the SOU Recital Hall. If not, you really owe it to yourself to listen to this top-notch group. For a bargain admission you will hear great music right here in your own community. Hope to see you there!

Pam Lawson

Ashland

Tour Station 2, then vote yes

A couple days ago a fellow citizen wrote that the homeowners in Ashland cannot afford a new fire station. We can't afford not to.

I'm a member of the Public Safety Bond Committee that discussed this measure. I cringe at the suggestion of someone asking for money now.

At the start of our meeting, we took a tour of the station in question. I thought, how bad could it be?

My construction talents lie far below the skills of Bob Vila, but after seeing and talking to the men and women who have to live and work there, I'm shocked and appalled. Walls are to give structure to a building, to lend support. They are used for shelter, protection and privacy. I shouldn't be told not to lean up against one as it is not stable enough, and then to demonstrate, see that it moves with the slightest touch. I shouldn't hear that the sleeping quarters have diesel fumes in them.

Recently a crew of paramedics came to the aid of my family. They didn't have to put out a structure fire, or rescue us from a terrible scene. They took care of us with compassion. What would I have done without them?

I highly encourage you to take a tour of Station 2. The request that has been placed before you is not excessive. Yes, it might not seem like the right time to ask for this project, but this is a hand of cards that has been dealt, one that we cannot afford to ignore.

I highly encourage you to vote yes.

Laura Daugherty

member, Public SafetyBond Committee