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Monday, March 16, 2009

Steve Martin to Finance La Grande Student Production

Posted by Alison Hallett on Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 12:14 PM

The O picked up this article over the weekend, but in case you missed it:

Actor Steve Martin will foot the bill for an Oregon high school to stage a production of his play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, after the show was cancelled because of parents' concerns about the play's content.

La Grande High School's production of Martin's 1993 play was called off by its school board's superintendent after a parent filed a complaint, accompanied by a petition with the signatures of 137 community members, objecting to the play's bar locale and its sexual references.

Teacher and director Kevin Cahill told the La Grande Observer newspaper that money was being raised to put the play on at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.

Martin read about the controversy online.

"I will finance a non-profit, off-the-high-school-campus production (low budget, I hope!)" Martin wrote in a letter to the editor of the La Grande Observer that was published on Friday.

The play, according to the parent who organized the petition (as quoted in an Observer article), has "18 instances of profanity, 15 instances of 'religious exclamation or religious profanities,’ 22 instances of sexual references or sexual content and 17 instances of alcohol use."

I love these controversies. Considering how few people actually go to the theater, or care about its endurance as an art form, it's remarkable how much outrage folks can muster up about it. Just like the Sherwood play with the homosexual agenda , thanks to this little protest (in which parents prove less mature than their children), more people will see this show than would have otherwise. Art wins

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