I read James Ricci's column about the staging of Irving Holloway's play at Central Juvenile Hall with pleasure and interest ("Starring at Juvenile Hall: Art and the Unusual Suspects," Metropolis, May 13). Several of the young men with whom I work were able to participate in the play. In the days preceding the event, they were filled with giddiness, anxiety and stage fright. After, they felt relief and a sense of accomplishment. It is intriguing to watch these teens become transformed when an opportunity such as this production presents itself. Ricci's sincerity struck me as he came to know these young people beyond their offenses.
How and why you continue to portray people who represent the lowest rung of society, as if they have some redeeming quality, is testimony to the naivete and lack of street smarts of your staff. The lowlifes have the histories they do because of their determination to gain attention. And your magazine seems happy to oblige.