Readers blather about bondage and critique the Kevin Klines

A masochist speaks: I am a "slave" in a BDSM relationship and enjoy many of the things described here with my "master" ["Shocking New Revelations in Missouri Sex-Slave Case," Chad Garrison]. It certainly was a shame, though, if she was mentally handicapped. That would make it wrong to have her sign a contract.

Regardless, it appears as if everyone in "master/slave" relationships is a criminal. They may be sick freaks, but they're not criminals, except for this yahoo who thought he could take advantage of a mentally handicapped woman.
Slave Sarah, via the Internet

Oh, the humanity: This is absolutely appalling and disgusting in every way imaginable. How in the world can it be rationalized that five years in prison and $250,000 is a justifiable sentence for these types of horrific acts committed against another human being? This is very sad indeed.
Jessica Bueler, via the Internet

Those letters must be lost in the mail: Congrats on writing one of the most unprofessional and unbalanced articles I have ever read ["The Winners' Tale," Melissa Meinzer]. The RFT should be ashamed to have allowed that to see the light of day.

Your editor and boss will be receiving several letters soon demanding an apology for the potshots and just a general fourth-grade level of writing. Shame on you.
Robert Kincaid, via the Internet

She's had enough: Great article. Thanks for showing different sides of the story. The first year of the Klines, I was so proud to be part of St. Louis theater. Now, not so much.

It seems to be the Muny, Fox and Stages Awards — the companies with the most money win. It no longer represents small professional theater, and it's a shame.
Linda, via the Internet

Defining the undefinable: Just suppose, during the local theater season, a particularly gifted actress plays Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire at a community college; she follows that as the ghost Elvira in Blithe Spirit for a little theater group; and then, for her portrayal of Mama Rose in Gypsy with an Equity theater, she is compensated at scale. Her work in all three productions is of stellar quality.

In St. Louis, there are many gifted performers. Having known and worked with hundreds of them, I believe I know what constitutes "professional," and yet I ask, what is the true guideline? When I was teaching, I received a stipend for directing, designing and occasionally acting in student productions. Didn't that, arguably, make me a professional? Are plumbers, doctors and policemen ever "amateurs?"

It seems to me that the mark of a professional actor might more reasonably be in attitude, not necessarily the dollars paid. We know, for instance, that a high school junior might evoke tears touching the audience, while a card-carrying union actor could be, well, terrible.

In my hypothetical example above and the new rules you described, the actress could receive a Kevin Kline nomination only for her performance in Gypsy. I wonder if it might be appropriate that instead of dictating actor salaries and requisite numbers of performances, the Kevin Kline Awards should simply recognize local theater — possibly in three classes: community, educational and the so-called professional. And perhaps instead of naming "bests," it would be fair to announce that these five — or maybe these three — candidates were exceptional this year. Our local groups could then return their focus to enjoying (along with the audiences) the fine work of entertaining instead of considering whether or not to pull out of awards competitions.
Robert Beck, Webster Groves