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    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Those Tolerant "Theater People"

    If you've ever lived in a small or mid-sized city, you know that a certain percentage of the town's "theater people" are often just folks who want to live their lives in "The Music Man", rather than actually creative or radical people. Look at conservative Christians Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson, products of just such a community.

    Or Take a look at said Kim Rentz, facilities manager for CPCC's Overcash Academic and Performing Arts Center:

    Homofactus Press author Scott Turner Schofield's solo show Underground TRANSit (to be published by HfP) was censored by Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    The poetic monologue traces Schofield's journey from a teenage lesbian and "almost-homecoming queen" to an adult man. Sometimes the performance ends with a brief glimpse of Schofield's chest.

    "As much as possible, we avoid controversial programming," said Kim Rentz, facilities manager for CPCC's Overcash Academic and Performing Arts Center. The building opened in November and includes the 1,000-seat Halton Theater and a 175-seat recital hall.

    Specifically, Rentz said, "We don't allow nudity here."

    (via Charlotte Observer)

    Apparently it is the specific nature of Scott's nude body that rendered CPCC incapable of allowing Underground TRANSit to run.

    "Any performance venue reserves the right not to display materials they may find objectionable," Johnston said. "There are no written guidelines. ... We have standards we have followed over the years," and they apply to campus-sponsored performances as well as those by outside groups.

    But "nudity" is subjective. In a recent campus production of "Jesus Christ Superstar," the actor playing Jesus wore only a loincloth for the Crucifixion sequence.

    "A man who has always been a man is different, I think," Rentz said. "That's my own personal take on it."

    Asked what audiences might have found offensive had Schofield exposed his torso on stage, Rentz said, "I try not to draw a (mental) picture."


    Thanks to Jay Sennett for the heads-up.

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