Friday, September 08, 2006

Des Moines Register Advocates Illegal Activity?

At least in concept:
There's nothing like controversy to draw a crowd to a theater production. Plans for students to perform "The Laramie Project" at West Des Moines' Valley High School have been met with complaints from some parents. They say profanity in the script is inappropriate.

So school officials have agreed to "soften" the language. It's a good compromise. Removing bad language shouldn't detract from the meaning of a powerful production about the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young, gay university student in Wyoming. Some student actors may be uncomfortable using bad language in front of an audience that may include parents and grandparents.

Removing profanity should be the end of the controversy.

But that looks unlikely.

The article goes on to discuss how the locals are up in arms about the sexual themes of the show, and are intending some sort of boycott or protest. However, that's not the only controversy entailed with the intentional alteration of a protected work, absent permission from the author and copyrightholder. If I recall correctly, Newton High School got into trouble just last year over that issue, and had to cancel a play when permission to alter it to clean up the language was denied, though I can't for the life of me remember which play it was.

Just pointing it out.

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