DFL Sen. Barb Goodwin introduces theatrical smoking ban after constituent complains

barb goodwin rect.jpg
Minnesota is currently one of 11 states that allows on-stage smoking. Goodwin wants to change that.
In control of the House and Senate following November's election, DFLers promised heading into this legislative session to focus on jobs and the economy. But first, they're taking care of the really important stuff -- like banning smoking during theatrical productions.

FROM JANUARY: DFL Rep. Tina Liebling introduces bill to ban smoking in some private homes

A bill introduced by Sen. Barb Goodwin, D-Columbia Heights, would remove an exemption to the state's smoking ban that currently allows actors to light up while performing.

Goodwin told the AP she put together the legislation after theater-fanatic constituent of hers brought the issue to her attention. The constituent, Fridley resident Joan Gilmore, claims she's had to leave numerous plays after actors aggravated her smoke allergy by lighting up.

"It's so much easier to use e-cigarettes or to use something else that doesn't have all the carcinogens in it," Goodwin told the AP, adding that she's concerned about on-stage smoking glorifying cigarette use, especially when children are in the audience. "Really, how is [smoking] going to have a good bearing on the way people feel about the play?"

But Bain Boehlke, artistic director at the Jungle Theater -- currently host to a production of "Venus in Fur" featuring on-stage smoking -- told the AP that "If you're going to be authentic to that aspect of a play, it's essential."

"Just the smell of the cigarette smoke is part of the world of the play," Boehlke added.


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36 comments
Kelly Garner
Kelly Garner

I saw Hello Dolly at the Guthrie when I was in high school. I had a terrible head cold; I could not smell the cigar smoke from the actor, and remember feeling cheated. I say back off.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Yes!!!  We must have laws, just for one person.  This one person's sensitivity should estabilsh the laws for the Great State of MN!!

Don't forget that MN, under the leadership of senator Volstead submitted the constutional admendment prohibiting the sale/manufacture of liquor.

See where that got us? 

balmung480
balmung480

You cannot choose the methods which are appropriate to express the idea the artist had in their head. This is an extension of censorship as we have already deemed that it is not appropriate that the legislature choose what is and is not acceptable. If we limit the means an artist has to express their idea it is still censorship just of method rather than content.

_Joe_
_Joe_

EVERY show that contains actors smoking has a posted warning beforehand.  One wonders why someone with such a severe "allergy" would continue to attend them, knowing that she will have to leave at some point.  I call bullshit.

Jenna Waldrop
Jenna Waldrop

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They're going overboard with this smoking shit

Billie Mudry Spaight
Billie Mudry Spaight

I agree with Melissa. I think the actors should be allowed to take their breaks in a place where they are allowed to smoke and the nonsmokers should also have a smoke-free place to take a break. It's not that hard to figure out!

Thomas Zocher
Thomas Zocher

Let me just go ahead and say FUCK YOU BARB GOODWIN! What else do we let these god damned politicians take away? If you don't want to see a play where an actor is smoking, then you don't get to see the play. Period! End of story. No more laws because of whiny little bitches. How many more little, bullshit laws do we need? I don't care if you are a smoker or not, you shouldn't ever be in support of this kind of crap, because eventually they will want to outlaw something you do enjoy...and thus goes our freedom and our democracy - one little infringement at a time.

Robert VanZandt Jr
Robert VanZandt Jr

Oh, Come On. Don't these bureaucrats have more important shit to do ???

Adam Schenck
Adam Schenck

I saw "Other Desert Cities" at the Guthrie, and it had on-stage smoking. If anything, have them smoke clove cigarettes; but the smoking added to the realism of the production. (The characters were "smoking dope".)

Adam Clark
Adam Clark

Most live performances on stage use herbal/electric cigarettes. This is pointless

Nicholas Rupar
Nicholas Rupar

Hmmmmm, I'm bored, OH I KNOW, is there anywhere I can ban smoking at??? #mnpolitionlogic

Nicholas Rupar
Nicholas Rupar

"I'm bored.........OH I KNOW, maybe I can ban smoking from somewhere, hurp and derp" #mnpolititianlogic

Joseph Olson
Joseph Olson

YES!! What would we do if all the actors in the world died? Who's opinions would we rely on then?

Angel Andrews
Angel Andrews

So stupid... it is a stage 'Performance'... and if YOU... the citizen... are aware beforehand that smoking may occur on stage during a performance, which I believe most theatres state on a playbill if it will occur, then tough luck... on that same stupid argument... FOG MACHINES... spit out a cocktail of chemicals, should we also ban them from stage performances?

Tracy Marcotte Shaffer
Tracy Marcotte Shaffer

NO! Come on Barb Goodwin, there has to be other things to focus your time, energy and brains on!

Ryan Haenze
Ryan Haenze

Really Barb? I like you, but this is crazy.

Kurt Nelson
Kurt Nelson

I miss smoking on stage....Another reason I'm semi-retired from live performance...

Brett Andreas Campbell
Brett Andreas Campbell

No. I do think the goofballs in St. Paul should stop passing stupid laws though.

Janey Winterbauer
Janey Winterbauer

"she's concerned about on-stage smoking glorifying cigarette use, especially when children are in the audience. "Really, how is [smoking] going to have a good bearing on the way people feel about the play?" What a moron

Melissa Dreier
Melissa Dreier

As much as I hate second hand smoke, I hate censorship more.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

I don't think they need to smoke real cigarettes. Actors don't shoot each other with real bullets or stab each other with real knives.

Susan Gorg
Susan Gorg

Isn't there more important things to worry about in this world than something so simple as this?

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