Redykle

Just a little blog about me and mine.

ATNTFTB: Tamer ‘Rent’ Is Too Wild for Some Schools February 20, 2009

Filed under: in the news — Katie @ 11:45 am

I’m not a prude. Or a Puritan. I’m really not. My favorite tv shows are Weeds and The L Word, and I would prefer that How I Met Your Mother came on Showtime so they could spice it up a bit. And Callie as a lesbian on Grey’s Anatomy? Hot. I’m also really into free speech and really not into censorship, even of things that, well, should be censored.

rentpostera

But I kinda agree with some of the folks in this article that Rent maybe isn’t the best idea for a high school play. (I mean, we all know Zac Effron will eventually come out and put some new perspective on High School Musical, but even then it won’t be quite as the same level as Rent)

I first heard about Rent on the Rosie O’Donnell show in 1997–the summer between my junior and senior years in High School, and recall riding around in my trusty 1988 Dodge Shadow playing the Rent soundtrack nonstop. (Yes, I should have known I was gay then but didn’t). So, yes I was in high school and consuming Rent and its message, but we didn’t all go see it as a class or anything. And the drama club certainly wouldn’t have performed it–that would be…gay. PL went to an arts magnet high school, so they had a VERY different campus culture, but I’m not sure they would have even done it when she was there. When her little brother was at the same school as a senior in 2005, the school put on the Laramie Project and it was met with some protest. He shrugged his shoulders and didn’t care whether they did the play or not, but that’s his usual approach to most other things in life as well.

As the article explains, the high school version of Rent has removed some explicit language and they removed the song Contact (they did that in the movie too). I guess “Rent: School Edition” is much more along the lines of the movie than the original play, and the movie did seem to fairly popular in the mainstream way. On the other hand, a part of me is ashamed of my old person-like shocked reaction, and thinks it’s a great thing that high school kids don’t blink at the thought of a play with gay and straight characters and draq queens. It makes me feel both very old and also very hopeful that “kids these days” by and large grew up with LGBT figures in the media and in their lives. I am also hopeful that people who actually see Rent will love it, and even though they may scoff at the subject matter at first, deep down they know it’s quality stuff.

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