For those of you who may be un aware; on August 9th of this month a radio evangelist took to the air waves to shut down a production of THE BIBLE: THE COMPLETE WORKS OF GOD ABRIDGED in Lapham Peak.
Russ Bickerstaff's Blog Curtains take a more in depth look at the full details of this story, here's a link I encourage you to read it: http://www.expressmilwaukee.com/blog-8558-theatrical-censorship-in-delafield.html
"The DNR had revoked use of Lapham Peak State Park. And now the Summerstage of Delafield has been forced to look for another stage with only a little over a week until opening night. They really shouldn't have to. The Bible, as I say, is a really, REALLY durable book. It's withstood a lot more than a little sketch comedy." -Russ Bickerstaff
I have also had the good fortune to work at Lapham State park with Summer stage on two wonderful shows, one of which was with the Brian Faracy the producer and one of the actors in the show. Brian is an incredibly sweet, talented man and I can't believe that after all he's done for Summerstage and for actors alike, the DNR would roll over on him in such a disgusting fashion.
The two other actors in the show Nate Press and Emmitt Morgans are dear friends of mine and I wish that the people of Delafield would get to see how truly talented they are.
There might be some reason to cancel THE COMPLETE WORKS OF GOD (ABRIDGED) if it were remotely controversial, however the show it self is just a light-hearted night out. It's no more controversial than Andrew Lloyd Webber's JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR or Stephen Schwartz's GODSPELL. Each of those shows have their moments to poke fun at the bible in their own way, but you can bet that if Summerstage was producing either of those warhorses the public would come in droves supporting the mere suggestion of singing and dancing in the park. For some reason it is suggested that because this show is simply a comedy and it doesn't have the toe tapping libretto of JCS or GODSPELL it doesn't deserve the same respect, when in fact this simple little comedy is an intelligent, entertaining script performed by some stellar actors who are really being given the short end of the stick here.
The whole boycott, the cancellation of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF GOD is an absolute abomination and I urge the community of Delafield to do something to fix the situation that they have created. There is no reason to play into a group of overly touchy "church people" who every Sunday spout the ideals of love, acceptance, and forgiveness but then the moment something rubs them the wrong way they are the first to grab their picket signs.
Don't look at the the people who would willingly stop this show without even seeing it, just because the title seems to suggest blasphemy. Look at the surge of support on facebook, in the media, and amongst the larger community. That surely proves that this show should go on.
If this bothers you as much as it bothers me, please contact the DNR directly to show your support of local theatre. Call and ask for Hilary at 608-266-2121 or email her at DNRSecretary@wisconsin.gov