Return to the main page. See the letter to which this is a response. See my response to this letter.

To:The Jewish Advocate
Editorial Department

From:Bonnie H. Shapiro, Producer / Owner
King Richard's Faire

To the Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to enlighten your readers about King Richard's Faire and also take issue with the letter written to you by Mr. Jonathan Kamens.

King Richard's Faire is a unique entertainment venue, but it is also a business. As in all businesses, we have policies and procedures in place designed for our protection, the protection of our patrons and for best busines practices. Our income is derived from ticket sales and food & beverage sales. This is how we stay in business.

We feel we offer an excellent value where one can enjoy 7 ½ continuous hours of entertainment based on 16th century England. There are ten different theatrical stages, hundreds of roaming period street actors, musicians, minstrels, jugglers, mimes, giant puppets, jousting knights on horseback, wild exotic animals, etc., all surrounded by an authentic looking old English village buried deep within the forest. In addition, there are approximately 100 unique artisans and crafts people who come from all over the country selling their handmade wares, some of which are created right in front of your eyes. Many of the patrons are dressed in period regalia and become part of the living theater. All of this is available with free parking at a ticket price far below that of a Red Sox or Patriots' [sic] game, tickets to a Broadway touring play, or tickets to a musical concert, etc. The costs are also far less than what it would be to spend a day at another entertainment theme park such as Disney World or a similar venue. I venture to say that none of these events will allow anyone bring [sic] in outside food or beverages either, no matter what the situation. Even movie theaters prohibit this.

Not only does best business practice prohibit this, but also our insurers and attorneys advise us that we must control all food and beverage consumed on our site. This is for our safety and the safety of our patrons.

I realize that not all rules can cover all realistic situations. This is why my box office personnel contacted me when Mr. Kamens and his family requested to bring in their own food. I'm certainly understanding, being Jewish myself. I personally spoke with a member of their party after introducing myself and tried to enlighten them as to the situation and the predicament. In addition, I bent the rules and offered to allow the family to eat their food in their car and be allowed readmission back into the Faire site (against policy), and if that was unacceptable, offered the use of benches (the same kind benches [sic] that are provided inside the gate, many of which are in sunlit areas) in the front area just outside the gate. Though this is not offered to any other ethnic or special group, I did this for obvious reasons. The only way Mr. Kamens' family was singled out was to be given preferential treatment that has not been offered to anyone else.

Finally, I would like to add that King Richard's Faire offers a safe family environment. The swords and daggers to which Mr. Kamens refers must be sheathed at all times unless a prop used by our street or stage actors and acts. Any unsheathed weapon, unless made of cardboard or wood, is immediately confiscated and removed from the premises by one of the many security guards we have roaming the site, some of which are incognito in costume and many others of which are in their official police uniforms and fully armed.

We would like for all people to come and enjoy the unique entertainment event that is King Richard's Faire. We would like them to feel safe, comfortable, and welcome. On a personal note, I would hope that all Jews know that I warmly welcome them and their families as I would my own.

L'Shanah Tovah,

Bonnie H. Shapiro, Producer

c.c. Mr. Jonathan Kamens