John Otte at Tarleton State University might have started a new college trend. For a class project he prepared an excerpt from the Terrence McNally play “Corpus Christi,” which presents Jesus as gay.
Now Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. is presenting the play with some additional twists to rankle the radical right who protested the Texas production into cancellation for safety reasons. (A presentation of Otte’s class production in the Metroplex in a larger venue is still pending).
The show was just recently added to the theater department’s schedule.
While Otte’s production was simply a class project and presentation was not open to the public, the Gallaudet presentation is theater department presentation. The D.C. production will be performed three times. At Tarleton, the play was slated for one performance.
Gallaudet University is a school for the deaf. So in this production Jesus will be deaf and gay. And that added “imperfection” of hearing impairment in this presentation is sure to rile the homophobes who don’t believe that Jesus embraced anyone other than married, suburban heterosexuals.
The protesters in D.C. are at work again but the university is standing by its production.
So by threatening violence against a student in a directing class in a small school 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth, the right-wing haters in Stephenville have turned this relatively unknown and rarely performed play into a must-produce phenomenon for any theater company or college group that wants to prove its independence and avant garde credentials.
A story on Christian Newswire says, ” The lewd production was recently canceled at Tarleton State University in Texas due to peaceful protest.”
By peaceful, I assume they mean the threats of violence that were phoned or emailed to everyone from the president of the school for not knowing every student’s homework assignment to Dallas Voice for reporting on the play.
I’m looking forward even more to bringing Otte and company to Dallas.