Conservatives are furious over play with lesbian Virgin Mary
An LGBT theatre company in the US has prompted controversy by showing a play which depicts gay versions of Bible Stories.
The Atlanta-based Out Front Theatre Company, which only stages performances from LGBT writers, is remaining defiant after a Christian group called the play “blasphemous”, and gathered 40,000 names on a petition demanding to have it shut down.
The play, called ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told’, depicts comic versions of Old Testament Bible stories, seen through the eyes of a gay couple called Adam and Steve and a lesbian couple called Jane and Mabel.
The play opens next week.
The protest is being driven by a conservative Catholic group called America Needs Fatima, which aims to “spread the message of [the Virgin Mary] throughout the United States”.
The group, which also protested popular film The Da Vinci Code in 2006, has called the play “blasphemous”.
Members of the Christian group are particularly angry about a scene in the play that “refers to the Virgin Mary as a lesbian”. The group has mentioned on its website that “the playwright himself is a homosexual”.
Paul Conroy, the theatre’s artistic director, has said the play will go ahead as planned. Late last month, he said, he began receiving outraged phone calls and emails.
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“We had already been in rehearsals for several weeks and had auditions before that,” he told The New York Times.
“I guess that’s just when someone found us and my best guess was that it was a Monday, which means that people were at church on Sunday the day before and that’s when it picked up steam.”
The play was originally written by Paul Rudnick, a gay American playwright and essayist, and premiered in New York in 1998.
Rudnick was described in a New York Times review at the time as “the funniest writer for the stage in the United States today”.
Earlier this year, London’s National Theatre made headlines by giving a performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night a “lesbian twist”. And earlier this month another London theatre announced that its new production of Romeo and Juliet will feature a gay love story between two Premier League footballers.