Otte: Safety on campus was the main concern

john 1John Otte, the student involved in the “Corpus Christi” controversy, reflected on the incident in a recent e-mail to Dallas Voice. He said if campus safety was the main concern, he’s happy with the decision to cancel the production at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.

A plan to bring the production to Fort Worth has not moved forward this week, although Todd Camp said other theaters have stepped forward to offer space after Rose Marine Theater “rescinded” their invitation.

Here’s what Otte said in the e-mail:

Innuendo and rumor exists in political and populous opinion claiming there were other reasons for canceling the Tarleton class production of “Corpus Christi,” but I want to make it clear that I have no factual knowledge of any interference.

That being said if pressure was or was not received, I know the Tarleton administration, my dean and my professor did everything in their power to preserve academic freedom and to ensure the safety of all students at Tarleton State University.  They fought for as long as they could to stave off censorship and preserve this institution of higher learning.

In no way do I blame them for their decisions. I know that my professor, caring deeply about each one of his students in the department, weighed every issue before him and in the end our safety was much more important than the presentation of a play.

While I fear this can set a precedent for censorship through fear mongering, I in no way judge the decision of my professor. If our safety could not be ensured I am happier with the outcome at hand.

I hope that we can simply move forward and learn from everything that has occurred. After all why else are we pursuing knowledge in a higher education setting? The message remains clear from “Corpus Christi” unconditional love through all adversity.

—  David Taffet

'Corpus Christi' canceled in new venue

john 1
John Otte, director of Tarleton State production of “Corpus Christi”

After announcing that they would host a production of the canceled Tarleton State University production of “Corpus Christi” and three other student-directed plays, the Rose Marine Theater has “recinded the offer” to stage the production.

Rose Marine Executive Director Adam Adolfo said the decision was made due to a “combination of factors.” He did not characterize it as a cancellation, since a date had not been set.

The theater made this statement:

Statement Concerning Tarelton State University Theatre Students:

April 8, 2010 – The decision was reached by the Board of Directors of Artes de la Rosa to withdraw the offer of the venue, The Rose Marine Theater, which had hoped to host the 4 theatre student directors from Tarleton State University in their continued Academic Directing Theatre Projects.  The Rose Marine Theater will not be hosting these 4 students and their casts at any time in the future. We appreciate the public response on both sides of this debated issue.

Also announced yesterday by QLive was a full-scale production of the play during the summer at the same theater.

“Discussions are occurring,” Adolfo said, regarding that production.

The Christian press has been touting its “non-violent protests” that led to the cancellation at Tarleton. Apparently threats of violence are what they claim are peaceful protests.

Adolfo confirmed that one threat had been received via Facebook.

—  David Taffet

More 'Corpus Christi' coming to Fort Worth

Q Live founders Todd Camp (left) and Kyle Trentham
Q Live founders Todd Camp (left) and Kyle Trentham

There should be plenty of theater for people to protest in Fort Worth over the next few months.

Todd Camp, Kyle Trentham and Q Cinema are bringing a full-scale production of the Terrence McNally play, “Corpus Christi” to Fort Worth’s Rose Marine Theater.

The student production that was banned on the Tarleton State University campus will be presented at the theater in May. Dallas Voice will be a sponsor of that production.

Then in July, Q Cinema’s new live production branch, QLive, will present a full production of the play. The play will run July 23-31. Camp said he’s been wanting to do the play since he saw a production of it in Austin five years ago.

The Tarleton protests ensured a local production.

—  David Taffet

'Corpus Christi' to be performed in Fort Worth

John Otte

John Otte

The controversial class production of the Terrence McNally play “Corpus Christi” will be performed in Fort Worth.

John Jordan Otte, the student who chose the play as a project for his advanced directing class, said that a date has not been set but he wants to finish the semester first. He said the date will probably be sometime in late May.

He is working with Elaine Liner and Mark Lowry of Theater Jones to bring the production to the Metroplex and the production will be held at the Rose Marine Theater west of downtown. The Fort Worth theater is more than 2 1/2 times larger than the space it would have been presented in at Tarleton State University.

—  David Taffet