The principal of a school in Pennsylvania forced the drama department to cancel a production of Monty Python’s Spamalot because two of the characters in it are gay and, she claimed, there are no gay people in their small town so it would be inappropriate.
Dawn Burch, director of the school’s drama department, told WNEP news that Principal Jesse Smith wrote an email to her informing her that homosexuality does not exist in a conservative community such as South Williamsport. Smith did not respond to a ThinkProgress inquiry regarding these specific comments.
Instead, Superintendent Mark Stamm responded to ThinkProgress with a statement explaining that since the drama program includes students from grades 7-12, “We want our performances to be appropriate for the student performers and audiences so that anyone participating or watching can enjoy all aspects of the show.”…
Past performances by the South Williamsport Jr/Sr High School Drama Department include Pippin, in which the main character stabs his own father to become king, Romeo and Juliet, in which the protagonists commit suicide at the end, and Urinetown, a satirical comedy in which people are punished with death if they refuse to pay to use the toilet.
So all those things are fine, but showing gay people in a play? Scandal! Outrage! And, of course, bigotry. Welcome to small town America.
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