Conservatives Decry High School Production of Gay Biblical Parody Play
Students at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School, in South Hadley, Mass., will perform a biblical parody play called The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, despite backlash from outside conservative groups, the school's principal confirmed Thursday to MassLive.com.
"While we have no control whether organizations from other states decide to protest the show, it is clear to me that many of the most recent emails are attempts to coerce PVPA into canceling the play," head of school Scott Goldman said in a statement Thursday. "Allowing this to happen would very much go against the grain of our unique, artistic and intellectually rigorous PVPA community and the larger Pioneer Valley Community."
The play, written by Paul Rudnick and first performed in 1998, is a comedy satirically based on the Book of Genesis, reimagining the creation story with gay characters like Adam and Steve and Jane and Mabel, appearing in both biblical and modern times.
On Sunday, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported that PVPA had received email petitions and phone calls that described the production as "blasphemous and hateful."
Goldman stressed that most of the criticism came from outside groups, and confirmed that the play will take place as scheduled Friday through Sunday at Northhampton's Academy of Music.
"It's not a play that bashes religion, but it does make fun of some religious attitudes," director Chris Rohman told MassLive. "Although it's full of jokes — some at the expense of religious fundamentalism — the play is, at its heart, a thoughtful investigation of the meaning of faith and family."