To the editor:

We were surprised here at the Goodman Theatre to read that Richard Lufrano of Lindblom High School felt he had been given “the runaround” when he requested a screening of our archival videotape of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running [Neighborhood News, April 12].

I did speak with Mr. Lufrano a month or so ago and explained that our archival tape–under our agreement with Actors’ Equity–can only be viewed on our premises. I also explained that while we don’t have the facilities to screen videos, we might be able to arrange a screening for a small group. I suggested to him that we start by sending him a copy of a 20-minute documentary we produced at the time for high schools which contains not only footage from Two Trains Running but also interviews with the playwright, director, and cast members. I also sent him copies of our teacher and student study guides on the play. Mr. Lufrano wrote back a gracious letter thanking us for the materials and indicated that he and his cast would still like to come and see the tape of the whole show and would be in contact with us.

In any case, we admire Mr. Lufrano’s efforts and have every wish to be supportive, as we are and have been to other high schools throughout Chicago. Each year for the last decade we have given 1,400 free season subscriptions to Chicago public high school students and their teachers, along with free scripts, study guides, videos, classroom visits, and postshow discussions. Last season, we helped Wells Community Academy mount a production of West Side Story, then brought the show to our Studio Theatre for two triumphant performances in the spring. That partnership came about because the teacher came to us with positive ideas and energy, and together we worked through the obstacles to a satisfactory conclusion for all involved.

Richard Pettengill

Director of Arts in Education

Goodman Theatre