In our everlasting attempt to find ways to harness the mass appeal of sporting events for artistic events, we have another topic for you to ponder: The Star-Spangled Banner.
In this nation, most major sporting events are preceded by the performing of our National Anthem. This practice is so common that the final lyrics are jokingly quoted as "the home of the brave. Gentlemen start your engines." No one is going to complain about the moment to honor our country is out of place.
What would happen if every theatrical performance, symphony, ballet, or even movie, was preceded by the hearing of the Star Spangled Banner?
I can picture many of us Americans suddenly picturing a scene reminiscent of something that would have happened behind the Iron Curtain or in some foreign dictatorship rather than this nation of ours. Why is honoring one's country before a artistic event not the same as before a sporting event? Is it because of the long held ideas of freedom of expression and the criticism that theatre often carries? There is nothing more essential to the beliefs of this country than the right to speak one's mind.
Why are the values different?
Now we all know that playing the Star Spangled Banner before every performance of a play is not going to increase ticket sales. But what is it that separates the two entertainment mediums. Why is it inappropriate (or perhaps more appropriate) for this symbol of nationalism to enter out theatres. What are your thoughts?