US: School forced to cancel Spamalot over gay wedding because ‘homosexuality doesn’t exist here’

Alice Milliken July 2, 2014
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A school in northern Pennsylvania has been forced to cancel plans to stage Spamalot next spring, because it contains a same-sex marriage.

Dawn Burch, theatre director at South Williamsport High School, told WNEP news that Principal Jesse Smith informed her in an e-mail that the content of the musical was inappropriate, and that homosexuality did not exist in a conservative community like South Williamsport.

Students commented that they know of openly gay students and community members in South Williamsport. Neighbouring Williamsport school district has a gay-straight alliance and same-sex marriage has been legal in Pennsylvania since May.

The marriage in Monty Python’s Spamalot takes place at the end of the production, when Lancelot is outed in a large disco number after rescuing an effeminate prince.

Superintendent Mark Stamm responded to ThinkProgress’ inquiry into the issue with a statement, “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.”

Student Gianna Goegard refuted claims that homosexuality doesn’t exist in the school, telling WNEP: “I’d just seen one of my friends walk with her girlfriend the other day. It’s definitely in my school and all around.”

The parents of South Williamsport attendees seem to have no problem with the school’s decision.

One parent said, “I think in today’s day an age, kids get exposed to things very quickly and a lot sooner than my generation and the generation before. So for the school to take a stand like that I’m perfectly okay with that.”

The artist community in Williamsport voiced their concern over the damaging affect of this decision on the student body.

Related topics: Homophobia, inappropriate, Pennsylvania, theater, US

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