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Notes from the field.

The Connecticut town of Trumbull was recently divided over the cancellation j of a planned high school production of the stage musical Rent. The Trumbull High School principal announced the cancellation, citing the lack of a school-wide "plan" for its staging.

Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer- and Tony-winning rock opera, first performed on Broadway in 1996, covers love, drug use, and HIV in the lives of both gay and straight characters. Trumbull High School's Thespian Society planned to stage a 'school edition' which cuts out the profanity of the original. Some members of the school community challenged the principal's assertion that the cancellation was due only to a lack of adequate planning, and suggested that it was more about school administrators' fear of Rent's frank sexual content.

Students immediately launched an organized response eliciting local support and utilizing social media outlets, including a Facebook page created in support of Rent, generating over 4,200 "likes." The controversy not only caught the attention of local media, but made headlines in the New York Times, National Public Radio, and on blogs in the theater world.

After much pressure, in the end, the principal backpedaled and by mid-December the Facebook page 'Trumbull for Rent' announced that original March 2014 performance dates would be kept.
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Publication:SIECUS Developments
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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