from the poll bulletin board
edited for redundancy but with all pertinent points intact
comments from Randy Bowser in parenthesis

"This play was awesome! I have been waiting for months for this CD... Please proceed with making this album! Mandy Rebel" (patron who wrote the glowing letter-to-the-editor about Metro on Christmas Day of 2002--RB)

"I saw the show at Pentacle several times and found it thrilling. A peak experience in live theatre. I have been waiting impatiently for the opportunity to own this CD!" (obviously another patron--RB)

"Release the CD. Let the community relive this rare experience."

"What's the deal? Pentacle said this was coming out ages ago!"

"It's sad that after all the work that went into this it has been delayed for so long."

"There have been at least 30 people who told me they'd snatch up a CD in a flash."

"Simon Bennett here showing support for all the hard work done by Randy and the cast and crew of Metropolis..This would only be the second ever official cast recording of Metropolis..Board of Directors - don`t be blinkered on this!"
(Simon brain-stormed with me on the show via email from England--RB)

"I am ready to buy at least three copies and to give two as gifts. Please release it soon!!"

"I am completely against the making of this CD. Although the cast and crew were brilliant, the director is egotistical, and narcisitic...
(SIC) I think releasing this CD under the name of the Pentalce (SIC) theatre tarnishes the image Pentalce (SIC) has worked to build for the past 50 years. As a member of Pentalce (SIC) theatre - i feel the director of this project is an embarrassment to our theatre."(need I comment on this?--RB)

(following is my first post on the board)

"Note from the editor, Randy Bowser: PLEASE READ LAST comment...This is the kind of personal attack which has previously only been stated in private as the "reason" for cancelling the project."

"Dear disgruntled...I lose more faith and interest in the PENTACLE theater and its future productions every day...Those of us that worked HUNDREDS of hours for FREE on the original show and subsequent CD have been committed to community and a desire to share our unique experience (that we ALL created) with the Salem community...

Don't make the METROPOLIS experience and the theater's image and future suffer becuase of your own fear and jealousy. Release the CD."(from one of the most hard working Metro volunteers--RB)

"I applaud the individual who was brave enough to voice an opposing opinion in this "pro-CD/pro Randy Bowser" propaganda BS...If this project has been is due to Mr. Bowser himself. Why isnt he persuing financing from other sources if he wants the CD completed so badly?"

"Note from web-master Randy Bowser: PLEASE ALL READ LAST COMMENT...This new message is very ill informed. I DO HAVE OUTSIDE BACK FOR THE CD...But the Board doesn't seem to even want the completely strings-free gift of over $2,000 to the Capital Campaign which the CD sales would generate for the theatre.

I am not aware of writing anything on my website which is other than the facts as they have been given me by the Board. Nothing vaguely "libelous" has ever been written or said by me anywhere...

I ...have lent thousands of hours to Pentacle for producing very popular shows, have generated outstanding publicity for the theatre, and it gives me pleasure to have succeeded at those things. People in my position usually do garner disdain from the envious. I'm afraid I can't save them from themselves...

The power of distrust, hate, and envy are always destructive, and in the case of this project, has completely distorted things so that the CD is no longer about the hard working cast and the theatre which deserves the attention."

"Finally - some voiced support against this damned CD project that Bowser is so obsessed with...Bowser (is) someone who is constantly patting themself on the back, and reminding people of how great his shows have been, and what he has done for us, the Pentacle theatre...

Hey Randy... - We dont want you here. Didnt you say you were leaving? Wasn't Metropolis your last show here? What happened to New York City? Broadway?...We just wish you were gone, like you said in the paper you would be.

Until that very day - I will work tirelessly to make sure you know your place, your not some theatre GOD." (the style of this post matches exactly that of hate email I have gotten over the last year from a well-known Pentacle volunteer--RB)

"Note from Randy B. PLEASE ALL READ LAST COMMENT... What does his hatred for me have to do with the CD project volunteers worked 5 months on--??"

"To those that have so vocally expressed their negative opinions in this inappropriate location: You do not have the right to speak as though you represent the Pentacle Theatre volunteer group as a whole...

This issue shouldn't be about people's opinions of each other, this is about a product... Jonathan Pedersen"(Metro cast member--RB)

"Randy, if you indeed have the funding to produce this CD, then do it. We want our CD!! So what if Pentacle doesn't want to finance it or be involved. Fine, who cares. Leave them out of it."(clearly from a cast member--RB)

"EXCELLENT QUESTION from the most recent visitor. The CD issue is clearly not understood by most people...

--EVEN WITH THE FUNDING WHICH I DO INDEED HAVE---the Board has to approve the project. Why?---

--Because the contract with Joe Brooks ONLY allows the CD to be made and sold as a fund raiser for Pentacle Theatre. There is absolutely no other way it will be allowed.

--The contract also explicitly states THE ONLY way the CD may sold is through Pentacle, in the lobby and at the ticket office. To do that, the Board has to approve.

--Anyone who still hasn't signed a waiver must do so before the CD can legally be mass-produced.

SO---I know the situation has been confusing, and many side issues have made it even more so. But the point is that even with funding, this MUST be a Pentacle project, as outlined above, as per the requirements of the ONLY contract (composer) Joe Brook's company will allow.--Randy Bowser"

"I address my posting to whomever is visiting this site and leaving negative comments about Randy...It is very easy to "spout-off" or "flame" someone when one is in hiding...Your comments don't apply to the topic being addressed, period...

Personal feelings for Randy have nothing to do with the release of a CD, and the comments made about Randy are neither pertinent nor appropriate, and are just ugly. -Melissa K. Turner" (Metro cast member--RB)

There we have it.

On August 28, 2003, a full 9 months after planning for the CD first began, Pentacle's Board of Directors decided to suspend all connection with the CD project.

The final and official "reason" for cancelling the CD has exactly nothing to do with the merits of the project and shows exactly zero respect for the volunteers who labored hundreds of hours to create the CD.

The Board was offended that I dared to talk about their discussions about the CD on this website, and that I made any attempt to pass on the limited informaton they siphoned out to me to all of you who were constantly asking me why the CD was being delayed.

Something very troubling has happened with all this. Surely there are lessons to be extracted from it all.

If my perceived "arrogance" has bothered some people so much that it led to the aborting of this Pentacle-boosting project---then some very serious adjustments need to be made in the theatre's decision making process.

I'm experiencing profound embarrassment for The Board over this disaster. I sincerely hope this fiasco doesn't do the damage to Pentacle's reputation that I fear it probably will.

I have never spent one second working on a Pentacle project as actor, director, musician, sound designer, scenery painter, booth operator, with anything larger than the motto of "The Play's The Thing!" foremost in my mind. And Pentacle has benefited enormously as a result.

Randy Bowser