Only a month before closing, TheatreVirginia told the subscribers that it would complete the current season and produce a shortened season next year, at the current venue. They urged the subscribers to ignore all the negative rumors and get their friends and relatives to purchase subscriptions. One month later, they announced that not only would there be no productions next season, they were canceling all the remaining shows of this season. And, there would be no refunds.

If the board knew the theater was in imminent danger of collapse (and how could they not know) this comes close to fraud. In my book, that is right up there with Enron, Arthur Anderson and WorldCom.

As far as I'm concerned, I would never attend another performance at TheatreVirginia if they gave the tickets away for free.

David Jay Fishman

Questionable Homage

I can't be the only person around wondering about the appropriateness of Richmond SPCA's director having her building named in honor of herself ("The Fundraiser," Dec. 25). Robin Starr is, as I understand, the executive director, a paid staffer. As irony would have it, the other part of the center's name is to honor E. Claiborne Robins, whose family fortune was made off the backs of suffering animals used in product research.

No doubt they'll say it was a board decision, but surely modesty would have deferred to individuals more worthy of such honor.

It used to be tradition for buildings to honor the legacy of individuals who were exemplary in their fields, heroic or otherwise inspirational. Naming buildings after people who give large sums of money (or raise it) is sad. Sure, we've got buildings named after the Lewises, the Mellons, the Carpenters and the Robinses. They gave big chunks of money for institutions, and I'm sure got nice tax advantages for their philanthropy.

But my admiration will remain with those who got their names etched in history for the lives they led, not the fortunes they amassed. Think we'll ever get something in Richmond named after Thomas Cannon? Now that would be noble.

Peggy Stoots



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