North Carolina High School Cancels Almost, Maine Over Sexual Content

News   North Carolina High School Cancels Almost, Maine Over Sexual Content
 
A student production of Almost, Maine, the romantic comedy by John Cariani that has become a popular production in schools and professional theatres across the U.S., has been canceled, resulting in controversy among the student community, according to wsoctv.com.

The principal's decision to cancel the performance came after students had already begun rehearsing the play at Maiden High School in Maiden, NC.

According to wsoctv.com, students say parents, as well as local churches, expressed complaints to the school that the play featured a same-sex couple among its characters.

The 2004 play, written by actor-playwright Cariani and depicting a mythical town in northern Maine, was the most-produced play in American high schools in 2010.

The school's principal, Rob Bliss, later 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." Savannah Harvell, who graduated from Maiden High School in 2009, told wsoctv.com, "If that's the case it doesn't surprise me. There are still people here who don't want to move forward with the times. It's not surprising if that's what is going on with that production."

Doug Propst, who lives in Maiden and has children who graduated from the school, said he believes marriage is between a man and a woman and added, "I would want to watch the play first and then decide about it being performed in school."

An online petition supporting the production has been started online. As of Oct. 15, 481 people had signed it.

The cancellation of Almost, Maine follows a similar event at a PA high school, which stopped a production of the Tony Award-winning musical Spamalot due to gay content within the plot.

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