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Wooden performance

The quality of theatre productions in American universities has been jeopardised by the recent shootings at Virginia Tech, it would appear. Six hours before the opening night of a Yale University student play set in the Middle Ages, an administrator decreed that no weapons could be used or portrayed.

The play, Red Roses, included stage props of metal swords and daggers, but no guns. Sarah Holdren, the director, bemoaned these "ineffective" measures and the limitations on artistic expression. The authorities eventualy relented, but allowed only fake weapons to appear. So the show opened with wooden swords and peeved cast members.

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