After unsuccessful efforts by religious conservatives to have it canceled, Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi opens tonight at the San Pedro Playhouse in San Antonio, the Express-News reports:
As it has across the country, the play has sparked some discord. Interfaith leaders met with Playhouse staff and asked that it be canceled. After their request was denied, they held a news conference last month denouncing the show and its portrayal of Christ.
[Greg] Hinojosa agreed to direct it, he said, because he was moved by the play’s message.
“For so long, gay people have been denied being able to sit at the table of spirituality,” he said. “Terrence McNally is very clear with his Jesus/Joshua character. His message is of love and acceptance and the divinity in all of us.”
Hinojosa has struck up a correspondence with McNally as a result of his work on the play. McNally has sent him several encouraging emails, noting that the play has prompted heated responses since its premiere at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 1998. At that production, patrons had to walk through metal detectors.
The San Pedro Playhouse will have additional security throughout the show’s run, its first in San Antonio, to ensure the safety of audience members and of the cast and crew, said Frank Latson, artistic director of the playhouse.
QSanAntonio has more on the correspondence between McNally and the play’s director, including the full text of an email from McNally to Hinojosa:
“It’s hard to work under such intense scrutiny,” McNally wrote. “I don’t envy you the pressure you’re under. I hope you and your cast stay safe and calm and creative and JOYFUL and that your voices are heard. I wish I could be with you in person but I am truly swamped with work in NYC.
“Let me know how I can be helpful from afar.
“Tell the cast how grateful I am to them. I won’t pretend the next weeks are going to be easy but I am confident they will be rewarding.”