The Green Valley High School in Henderson, NV is set to perform The Laramie Project, which focuses on the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, this week. Also planned is a 2010 production of Rent: School Edition, the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning East Village-set 1990's musical that includes gay characters and storylines involving the AIDS crisis.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported that a group identifying itself as the "Concerned Parents of Green Valley High" sought an injunction to halt the productions, citing the shows would cause irreparable harm to students and that the content violated the school's policy prohibiting R-rated material. (Music Theatre International, which licenses Rent and Rent: School Edition, gives the production an R rating).
On Nov. 10 a District Court Judge filed on behalf of the school and gave the green light to the two theatrical works. Seventeen-year-old Rent cast member Sarah Balogh commented to the Review-Journal that the judge's ruling reinforced the themes of Rent and the Laramie Project, commenting, "I think it's a start toward what they're all about: compassion and tolerance."
The Laramie Project continues performances this weekend, while Rent: School Edition will run in late January through early February of 2010. The Green Valley High School has titled its 2009-2010 theatrical season one of "Controversy, Compassion and Courage."'