“We determined that we could not require staff to work at the recital and therefore it would need to move off campus.”
This is just nuts. Did anyone at the school think ahead about how this would look?
The College Fix reports:
University censors student’s anti-censorship musical theatre project
A student at Friends University was forced to move her recital about songs from musicals that have faced censorship off campus due to donor complaints and content concerns.
Caitlyn Fox’s honors project — “The Shows They Don’t Want Us to Produce: A Study of Censorship Throughout the History of Musical Theatre” — was required to relocate last minute despite its initial approval.
“I was incredibly frustrated and blindsided,” Fox told The College Fix.
Friends University is a private Christian college in Wichita, Kansas.
“The university had to make a difficult 11th-hour decision after receiving a formal complaint from the fine arts department regarding offensive language and sexually explicit content in the recital,” said Friends University spokeswoman Laura Fuller in an email to The College Fix on Wednesday.
“We determined that we could not require staff to work at the recital and therefore it would need to move off campus. The university supports academic freedom and the student completed her recital and none of her content was altered.”
Weighing in on the incident, the Arts Integrity Initiative called the situation highly ironic.
It reported that songs in the performance included “Aquarius” from Hair, “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret, “Gethsemane” from Jesus Christ Superstar, “Schadenfreude” from Avenue Q and “My Unfortunate Erection” from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
The initiative, which interviewed Fox, noted that since the song list was not publicized — just the topic and title — the outcry was based on its title and theme alone. A warning on advertising materials had also noted it was “for mature audiences.”
“Fox still has to write her thesis on theatre censorship and now, thanks to the school’s actions, she will be part of her own study,” the initiative pointed out. “The university might well just give her the highest marks already, because thanks to their actions, she has already shown that censorship is ever-present, even when a student merely sets out to examine it.”
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