Mass. performing arts school takes heat for gay biblical play

Mass. performing arts school takes heat for gay biblical play

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. — The head of a western Massachusetts charter school says a student production of a play that retells the biblical story of Genesis with gay characters will go on as planned despite objections from some who say it’s offensive to Christians.

Scott Goldman of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Public Charter School said in a letter to parents Wednesday that the school has received email petitions and phone calls describing Paul Rudnick’s 1998 comedy “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” as “blasphemous and hateful.”

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that the South Hadley school has been urged to cancel the shows scheduled to be performed later this month, and some of the messages say they will try to organize protests through local churches.

“In allowing this attack on the Mother of God through the play ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,’ you offend the religious faith of tens of millions of Catholic and other Christian Americans,” the petition language reads. “There is no excuse or reason for this blasphemy.”

Goldman said most of the criticism appears to be from out of state.

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The play is consistent with the school’s philosophy and appropriate for a high school audience, Goldman wrote.

“Is it the role of public school to facilitate an exchange of ideas on the themes explored in this particular play?” Goldman wrote. “This is an excellent question, with answers that I imagine will be debated in what I hope will be climate of civility, and a desire to understand others’ viewpoints.”

The play has met with objections many times.

The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Public Charter School serves 400 students in grades 7 to 12 from more than 60 towns.

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