MINNEAPOLIS (March 4, 2013)— Minnesota is one of 11 states, plus Washington, D.C., with smoking bans that allow actors to light up on stage, but a lawmaker has introduced a measure eliminating the ban, and the theater community is pushing back.
Bain Boehlke, the artistic director at a theater in Minneapolis, worries that alternatives like electronic or herbal cigarettes won’t draw audiences into the action of a performance.
Boehlke said the smell and feel of a real cigarette is essential to portraying a play, especially those set in the past.
The Democratic state senator who wrote the bill says there's no reason theaters need to use tobacco cigarettes.
She introduced the bill on behalf of a constituent with a severe tobacco smoke allergy.