South Hadley, Massachusetts — A controversial drama performed by middle and high school students in Massachusetts has moved forward despite outrage from area residents who have called the presentation blasphemous.
The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, written by playwright Paul Rudnick, is stated to be a “cheeky and raucously funny” satirical comedy based on a number of stories from the Bible, but to many Christians in the South Hadley area, the play is anything but humorous.
“[The characters] Adam and Eve are ‘Adam and Steve.’ In the second act, they have the nativity scene where Mary is a lesbian who says all kinds of gross things,” said Brian Cameker of Mass Resistance. “It’s just a terrible play.”
In one scene, the virgin Mary reportedly shouts, “I’m not supposed to be pregnant, I’m a bulldyke!” Bestiality is also stated to be referenced in the program, and Pharoah is portrayed as a drag queen.
“What if Adam’s partner in the Garden of Eden wasn’t Eve, but … Steve? In The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, two First Couples—not only Adam and Steve but also Jane and Mabel—experience life’s joys and perils from the biblical world to the modern day,” a description of the show outlines on the academy website.
“It’s not a play that bashes religion but it does make fun of some religious attitudes,” director Chris Rohman told reporters with The Republican. “Although it’s full of jokes — some of them at the expense of religious fundamentalism — the play, is, at its heart, a thoughtful investigation of the meaning of faith and family.”
He said that students were supportive of the production.
“They saw it as an opportunity to express some gay-positive messages that they want to share with the community,” Rohman said.
The play, which has been running this weekend at the Academy of Music Theater in Northhampton, features students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter. The charter is combined of middle and high school students, grades 7 through 12.
However, when word of the production reached area residents, some were outraged and organized a petition to the school in an effort to stop the play from moving forward. As of press time, officials have received over 12,000 email complaints against The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.
School head Scott Goldman said that the complaints were of no influence on his decision to present the production.
“While we have no control whether organizations from other states decide to protest the show, it is clear to me that many of the most recent emails are attempts to coerce PVPA into canceling the play,” he wrote in a recent statement. “Allowing this to happen would very much go against the grain of our unique, artistic and intellectually rigorous PVPA community and the larger Pioneer Valley Community.”
A number of residents have also placed phone calls to the charter expressing their disgust at the drama.
The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told first debuted in 1998 and also had a run in New York City.