BroadwayWorld has closely followed the story of Sonja Hansen, the director/choreographer of Ohio's Loveland High School's recent production of Legally Blonde: The Musical. Ms. Hansen was pressured into resigning after school officials claimed her production of Legally Blonde was inappropriate.
Below is an open letter to Loveland High School's Principal, Christopher Kloesz.
December 31, 2012
Dear Principal Kloesz,
As a Contributing Editor for BroadwayWorld.com, I've become aware of the recent events surrounding Sonja Hansen's production of Legally Blonde: The Musical. While many members of the theater community, and the general community at large, have surely written you with anger and disdain for how you strong-armed Ms. Hansen into resigning, I would like to thank you for inadvertently providing us with the greatest drama of the year.
Certainly, your story could have been a comedic satire. Imagine, if you will, a scenario in which the miscommunications and the comedy of errors surrounding Ms. Hansen's production of Legally Blonde were resolved through healthy and respectful dialogue between teachers, parents, and students. I would wager that story would end with Ms. Hansen being lauded for introducing 300 students to the arts, selling 5,000 tickets, and promoting feminist ideas of self-worth through an evening of tongue-and-cheek entertainment. Surely this could be a story with a happy ending in which everyone gets what they want.
But of course, happy endings aren't for everyone. I'm guessing that's why you decided to turn this tale into a drama in which our hero is wrongfully accused and loses everything (by the way, are you a fan of Arthur Miller? Your witch-hunt reeks of The Crucible), her accusers look foolish, and the children and families she touched are all crushed. The story you've created may be outrageous and shocking, but I guarantee you it will move people in ways you never imagined.
Undoubtedly, a story this successful and gripping deserves a sequel. I suggest a follow-up in which you and your school ban books altogether as their content may be disturbing and offensive, affording students a blissful ignorance usually reserved for the home-schooled and politicians. Perhaps you should go as far as burning all material you deem inappropriate. My friend Ray Bradbury suggests that if you take me up on this book-burning idea, it is best to set your oven to 451 degrees.
And if the sequel works, you may consider a trilogy. I could easily see a third installment in which all of the students at Loveland High School, now without exposure to the real-world issues of gender inequality, sexuality and individuality as expressed through art and literature, realize how poorly equipped they are for higher education and employment.
But whatever you choose to do from here on out, I once again thank and applaud you for the brilliant drama you've given the world.
Contributing Editor, BroadwayWorld.com
P.S.: I know others may label your drama as a dismal farce, but pay them no mind. Some people just don't understand art.