Censorship in Texas

June 20, 2011

I received this letter from my friend Kaitlin Hopkins, who is the head of the musical theater department at Texas State University. I am sharing it here. Regardless of your thoughts on religion or gay rights, these are issues of censorship, hatred, bigotry, and misinformation. If you are in a position to support Kaitlin and her student, I encourage you to do so. Thanks. G.

Dear Friends in San Antonio and Austin (and a few in New York/LA too),

One of my students is working at the San Perdro Playhouse in San Antonio, Texas where they are doing Terrance McNally’s play Corpus Christi.

It was greatly upsetting to hear that protestors were showing up every night of the run (thru July 10th) due to the subject matter. If you are not familiar with the play, it depicts Jesus and the Apostles as gay men living in modern-day Texas. See photos of the protests.

My student Joe (who is in the production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in other theater space there) was squirted with holy water by a Catholic woman in the crowd last night trying to get into the theater. I am not sure if she thought it might melt him like the Wicked Witch, ensure he not burn in hell or just give him some relief from the heat in Texas right now but regardless of her reasons, I am asking friends to help in whatever way you can to show support for this play, the theater and this company of actors and director who are going through this. Last night the casts were not allowed to leave the theater once they were in the building.

Those of you that are in the area, please go support the production and let your friends know about it. I am notifying the two student organizations on the Texas Sate campus that support the gay student community here, LAMBDA and the Bobcat Equality Alliance so they can lend their support and stand in solidarity with this company. This breaks my heart, I have many gay young men and woman students here who need to know they are not alone and can be who they are and not be humiliated or punished for it.

Those of you in New York: if you have blogs or in any way can let people know, I would greatly appreciate it. Last night the protest crowd was about 30 strong, some with signs that were just awful. My guess is the numbers will increase next week. I am hoping to get this company some support.

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