Fringe Theatre Executive Director Adam Mitchell speaks about the removal of support for the show Who Goes There? written by playwright David Belke during a press conference in Edmonton, on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Belke has been convicted of possession of child pornography.
Ian Kucerak Ian Kucerak / Postmedia
Re. “Fringe bounces Belke play,” Aug. 10After entering into an agreement with Holy Trinity Anglican Church, a long-time Fringe venue, on Aug. 1 in which “safer-place” issues were presumably dealt with to the satisfaction of all parties, the Fringe’s executive director announced days later that he was reneging on the agreement on the basis of unspecified “community feedback.”The insult to established Edmonton playwright David Belke, who has served his time and is under no legal restrictions on his activities, couldn’t be clearer. The collateral damage to the actors and others involved in the now-excluded play, to Holy Trinity’s relationship with the Fringe, to Belke, and to the Fringe’s reputation is huge.Holy Trinity is to be commended for having put rehabilitation and redemption into practice in this case. It is understandable that they perceive that the trust built up between the venue and the Fringe is severely undermined. So is our trust in the Fringe.I have a suggestion for Holy Trinity. Please continue to offer the play, now unconnected to the Fringe, preferably in the time slots already set aside for it, and plan to sell tickets at the door.S.M. Anderson, EdmontonPlaywright deserves compassionDavid Belke has served his time in prison and he has lost his teaching certificate. I’m sure he regrets his transgressions. Now it’s time to give him a chance to redeem himself. This can only happen if, as Holy Trinity Church rector Christopher Pappas states, we believe in his rehabilitation and redemption.I hope the Belke play will eventually be performed. Wouldn’t it be great if the church presented it without the festival’s OK? I would go to see it because I believe the church has taken a noble stance and that Mr. Belke deserves our compassion, not our condemnation.David Chorley, EdmontonGood intentions not enough for addictsRe. “Drug treatment a better method than injection sites,” Danielle Smith, Aug. 9I don’t often find myself agreeing with Danielle Smith, but this time her article is on the money. Harm reduction is a farce and is tantamount to a Band-Aid on an amputation. It makes someone, mainly politicos, feel good but fails miserably to help the suffering party.Basically, it’s society’s way of doing the bare minimum with limited resources but being able to say, well, we tried. What has to happen to stop the revolving door is treatment in an effective and useful manner that addresses and stops the behaviour. This can only be done in an institution that requires it, in a controlled environment where the addict has to stay in and can’t wander outside to feed the habit, and is mandated by the court system.Only then can change happen, and hopefully actually move the person ahead and not just postpone the inevitable revolving door of the circle of drug life. Having worked in non-profits it drove me nuts hearing of addicts bragging about their fourth or fifth round of treatment because it kept them out of jail for purportedly being proactive, which they laughed about.Well-meaning must be accompanied by effectiveness. Harm-reduction fails in this concept.Stephen Gallard, EdmontonLetters welcomeWe invite you to write letters to the editor. A maximum of 150 words is preferred. Letters must carry a first and last name, or two initials and a last name, and include an address and daytime telephone number. All letters are subject to editing. We don’t publish letters addressed to others or sent to other publications. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org