Grandfather says Nashville school's play too racy for school - WKRN News 2

Grandfather says Nashville school's play too racy for school

Posted: Updated: March 4, 2013 10:25 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

The grandfather of a junior at Nashville School of Arts is trying to get the school to halt production of a play set to open Thursday night.

J.D. Moseley said when he read the script for the play his grandson was set to star in, he was shocked.

He said the play, "Almost, Maine" by John Cariani, promotes promiscuity and premarital sex.

In one scene, two male friends are drinking beers and talking about failed dates with girls before coming to the conclusion that they are in love with each other.

In another scene, a male cast member appears to seduce his female costar. The two kiss passionately and then strip down to their long underwear before exiting the stage.

Moseley said it gives the impression the two cast members are going to spend the evening engaging in sexual activity.

"Whether it is homosexual or heterosexual, and both are advocated there, it's just absolutely inappropriate for high school students in a high school play," Moseley said, "especially, given the issues that our teenagers are faced with these days like STDs, HIV and unplanned pregnancy."

Moseley contacted Nashville School of the Arts officials, as well as the school's superintendent, to voice his concerns. The school decided not to halt the production.

He then contacted Nashville's News 2 in an effort to let the rest of the community know the school system was allowing such a play to be put on in a high school.

"I would like someone to step forward, stand up for common sense and basic moral decency and say it doesn't matter how much time or effort that has been put into this and say this is inappropriate," Moseley said.

Metro school officials said the students picked the play as part of a project learning assignment where they took on all facets of the play including budgeting, lighting and casting.

The play was one of several the students were allowed to choose from several weeks ago.

"It looks like in this case we have a very diverse school district and that means we have a lot of diverse opinions," Metro Schools Spokeswoman Meredith Libbey said.

"Mr. Moseley has expressed his concerns and we have listened respectfully. He is the only one to share his concerns," she continued.

Libbey pointed out the play has been produced twice before in Metro-Nashville Schools.

Students at Hillsboro High School and at Hume Fogg High School have put on the play without parental complaint.

The play has also been widely produced at schools, community theatres and colleges nationwide since its release in 2006.

Libbey said reading the script and seeing the actual production are very different. She has seen videos of other productions of the play.

"I read some parts of the script and I had one thing in my mind," she said. "Then I looked and I thought this was a comedy."

She continued, "Even in the situation where the kids are tugging on their clothes they get down to long johns. I think many of us would not consider that particularly provocative."

The play's Web site describes the characters as "falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways."

"It doesn't matter how many times it has been played or who has done it. The issue is not a matter of precedence, it is a matter of appropriateness," Moseley said.

The show opens Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Nashville School of the Arts located at 1250 Foster Ave, and runs through Tuesday.

"We would invite anyone who is interested to make their own judgment," Libbey said.

Anyone can watch the scenes in question by clicking on the following links for YouTube:

 

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