October 16, 2014

High School Cancels Student Production of "Almost, Maine" Because of Gay Characters


A North Carolina school's decision to not allow students to perform a popular school play has stirred controversy in local affairs and on the internet. The theater department at Maiden High School had already begun rehearsing for the play “Almost, Maine” when the principal decided to cancel the performance.

From Reddit.com

...the high school I attended has recently just cancelled a production of "Almost, Maine" because there's two gay characters in a scene. I was a proud member of the theater department, which is basically one of the only safe places for gay people in my school, which I no longer feel very comfortable calling my school...they already paid for the scripts and everything and now only have like 2 dollars left in their budget. They use the profits from this play to pay for the next production and now that won't be able to happen.

“Almost, Maine”, a romantic comedy by John Cariani, has become a popular production in schools and professional theatres across the U.S. It depicts multiple love stories, including one shared between two men. According to sources, parents and area churches complained to the school about a play involving a same-sex couple.

the school’s principal, Rob Bliss, released a
statement that read:

“Our faculty and staff are still in review of potential performances to be conducted by our students this fall. At this time, no final decision has been made regarding whether and what drama performances are to be presented this fall. In regards to the request for students to perform the play 'Almost Maine,' careful review and consideration was given to the contents of this play. The play contained sexually-explicit overtones and multiple sexual innuendos that are not aligned with our mission and educational objectives. As principal of Maiden High School, I have an obligation to ensure that all material, including drama performances is appropriate and educationally sound for students of all ages.”

What a great cover up. Nevermind the fact that many great playwrights throughout history, including Shakespeare, who is studied in schools everyday and all around the world, have written tons of sexual innuendos and make homoerotic references in their writing. I think it's pretty clear what is going on here: a small minded community is trying to silence something it does not understand and does not care to even argue with.

You can sign a petition to help these kids out here.
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