Terrence McNally Hub




Police Investigating Threats to Director and Cast Members of Texas Production of Gay Jesus Play

Police are investigating threats to cast members and the director of a Tarleton State University production of Corpus Christi, Terrence McNally's 1998 play about a gay Jesus Christ, which was cancelled over the weekend due to safety concerns.

The Star-Telegram reportsCorpuschristi  

"Some of the e-mail messages and callers threatened to harm the play's director and cast members. Others were more veiled: 'The Socialist anti-Christ groups as well as the homosexuals and lesbian community will be the brunt of an out-pouring of unabated hatred that may well dwarf the present attitude toward the murdering Muslim fanatics,' one read. 'Whatever penalty and punishment you receive, know that I sincerely believe you deserve it as a socially corrupt college and an institution of less than higher learning.' Charges could be filed if authorities determine who made the threats."

Meanwhile, the National Coalition Against Censorship issued a statement (PDF) about the cancellation.

Said the group, in part: "The cancellation of Terrence McNally’s play Corpus Christi by Tarleton State University, under pressure from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and others, is an affront to academic freedom and First Amendment principles of free speech. The play was denounced by Tarleton’s president, Dominic Dottavio, who called it 'crude and irreverent.' Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst opined that 'no one should have the right to use government funds or institutions to portray acts that are morally reprehensible to the vast majority of Americans.' Even a play that depicts conduct considered “morally reprehensible” or 'irreverent' by some is fully protected under the First Amendment, which prohibits the enforcement of any specific view of religion or morality. It is deeply troubling that people in leadership roles – a university president and high elected official – should display such disregard for, if not ignorance of, basic constitutional principles. The University claims that the play’s cancellation was due to concerns over “safety and security” because of threatening emails. Even if that were the real reason for the cancellation, it is hardly a legitimate excuse. By giving in to threats of violence, the University only encourages them. Our constitution envisions reasoned discourse as the way to resolve disputes, not threats designed to intimidate and silence discussion and debate."


Play About Gay Jesus Canceled


Corpuschristi
Tarleton State University in Texas has canceled a student-run production of the Terrence McNally play "Corpus Christi."  The play, in which Jesus Christ and his disciples are depicted as gay, was initially chosen by a student for an assignment in a directing class and yanked form the schedule last last night.

From the school's Website:

"The four student-directed plays, including “Corpus Christi,” scheduled to be performed at Tarleton State University on Saturday, March 27, 2010, have been canceled this evening by the professor. The professor cited safety and security concerns for the students as well as the need to maintain an orderly academic environment as reasons for canceling the plays. The performance of these four class plays will not be rescheduled."

John Otte, the play's student director, defended his choice: "Never did I choose this play to attack Christians. I am one. This play deals with that subject matter, I believe, in a tasteful way. ... I don't believe in a God who hates me for who I am."

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has also weighed in saying "Every citizen is entitled to the freedom of speech, but no one should have the right to use government funds or institutions to portray acts that are morally reprehensible to the vast majority of Americans."

Last night, the local ABC affiliate ran a segment on the story and asked Tarleton students their opinions about the play. One claims that "Homosexuality is the one unforgivable sin in our society. That's something that you can't get away from. And that's what he's doing, he's trying to present that to the Christian community.

Watch the full segment, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Play About Gay Jesus Canceled" »


A Young Treat Williams Puts on The Ritz

Treat1

The 1976 film version of The Ritz, Terrence McNally's mob farce set in a gay bathhouse comes out on DVD this week, and probably feels about as dated as these screenshots look, although watching a 25-year-old Treat Williams parade around in a towel onscreen flexing for an hour and a half may be enough to satisfy the less discriminating viewer.

The Ritz, of course, recently had a short revival on Broadway, and featured towel-clad film star Ryan Idol and model Justin Clynes, among others.

Treat2

More Treats AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "A Young Treat Williams Puts on The Ritz" »


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