Thursday, April 08, 2010

Theater will not stage the "gay Jesus" play, Corpus Christi, afterall

"A Fort Worth theater that had agreed to show a student-directed play with a gay Jesus character has withdrawn its offer," reports the Star-Telegram. The Rose Marine Theater offered to stage the play because last month the play was cancelled due to death threats:

A classroom exercise that was to have featured Terrence McNally's controversial play Corpus Christi, which depicts Jesus as a gay man, was cancelled in Stephenville, Texas, this weekend, following a flood of threats to the university. Late Friday evening, Tarleton State University announced it was cancelling the student-directed productions — including an excerpt from Corpus Christi — which had been slated to be staged on Saturday. In a terse statement issued Friday night, officials at the school cited "safety and security concerns for the students as well as the need to maintain an orderly academic environment" as reasons for the cancellation.
Selected quotes, via the Star-Telegram, as to why the play was suddenly cancelled (again):
"The Rose Marine Theater will not be hosting these 4 students and their casts at any time in the future. We appreciate the public response on both sides of this debated issue."

"The combination of producing or hosting a production of this caliber and commentary is always difficult,"

"The board of directors felt at this time that this was not the appropriate venue or appropriate organization to be hosting this particular play."

"Adam Adolfo, executive director of Artes de la Rosa, said one "violent" threat had been posted on the Rose Marine Facebook page on Thursday."

Corpus Christi, written by Texas native Terrence McNally, tells the story of Jesus in a parallel character named Joshua. The character grows up in McNally's hometown in the 1950s and 60s.