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An open letter to Mission Theatre


Last updated 6/26/2008 at Noon

On Saturday, June 14, I attended “Mark Twain Live.” My seat was C-5, close to the stage and in the center.

First, the actor smoked, which to my knowledge is totally illegal to do. The first half, he smoked a pipe – that was not so bad. But during the second half he lit up a stogie and filled the whole theater with smoke!

With 20-20 hindsight I should have walked out right then and demanded my money back. But, unfortunately, I decided to stay. Before the performance was over, I was having an asthma attack as I am very allergic to tobacco.

When I returned home I put my clothes in the laundry and gave myself a head-to-toe shower to wash the smoke off. I also took several doses of my prescription inhaler for asthma. I coughed for several hours before I could really breathe.

The next day, I initially felt ok, but by early afternoon I had a severe sinus headache and was feeling very sick. So I went to the emergency room. The ER was very busy so I waited several hours to see the doctor. By then, in addition to sinusitis, I had developed dizziness as my ears were clogged and I could not stand alone. Dr. Alquaraini prescribed an antibiotic, a decongestant and a pain reliever. Fortunately CVS pharmacy was open on Sunday evening so I could start the medicine then.

So, all in all, this was a miserable weekend caused by one illegal stogie.

Alberta Jane Parker

Editor’s Note: Below is a copy of a letter sent to Ms. Parker from the management of Mission Theatre.

ar Alberta,

Thank you for your letter concerning the cigar Mr. Randall had at his performance of “Mark Twain Live.” I too was very upset that he chose to “puff away” on it. It was our understanding that he wanted to use it as a prop, only holding it. We gave him an ashtray for the specific purpose to put the cigar out after a few minutes. I am told that he actually addressed the audience with the statement that “he knew he was not supposed to do this… that’s why I do it” (trying to be true to his character, I suppose). You can rest assured that lessons have been learned from this experience.

We will also make it very clear to any future touring acts that smoking will not be tolerated and that we will virtually stop their show it if occurs. I am so sad that you had such a severe reaction because of his thoughtlessness. I wish I could have stopped him – “a lesson well learned,” as Dickens would say, but unfortunately at your expense. I hope you are feeling better today. We want you to always feel free to tell us your concerns whenever something happens at the theatre. Thank you so much for letting me know.

Patty Hornsveld

Mission Theatre


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