Red Wing says no way to "Rent" high school performance

Categories: Notable MN
Rent_Cast.preview.jpg 

Red Wing High School officials gave students the final no on their planned spring performance of hit Broadway musical "Rent". 

School administrators were concerned about the play's content despite the school's plan to perform a toned-down version of the original, according to the Red Wing Republican Eagle

The production addresses many controversial issues including drug use, homosexuality and AIDs. 

Some raised concerns that the school was banning the play because of the homosexual content, but officials denied that.

The decision was up to Supt. Stan Slessor and Red Wing High School Principal Beth Borgen -- both of whom said the play's homosexual elements were not behind their decision. They said the main problem was the issue of drug use. 
"We were dealing with subject matter content that would not have been embraced by some segments of the community," Slessor said. "I have to make a decision as to what's going to meet with community standards."
Schools across the country have been dealing with decisions to allow the play to go on, but several in the last year have decided to continue with the performance. A school in Philadelphia as well as a New Jersey school allowed the musical to go forward despite concerns raised by community members and parents. 

Is the musical too heavy with controversial issues for a high school performance? Aren't students learning about these very issues in their health classes and in their daily life through the media? It's unfortunate that the play's larger meaning is ignored when the final decision is handed down.



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