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NYTimes Catches Up with the Rent — The Musical Cancellations


by Jerome Weeks 20 Feb 2009

It’s not just in Garland or California, it’s in West Virginia: High schools cancelling productions of Rent, the musical — even the new “school edition,” which deletes some profanity and sexually explicit references but keeps the drugs and homosexuality. The New York producers of “Rent,” who receive some royalties from the school edition, said they […]

CTA TBD

It’s not just in Garland or California, it’s in West Virginia: High schools cancelling productions of Rent, the musical — even the new “school edition,” which deletes some profanity and sexually explicit references but keeps the drugs and homosexuality.

The New York producers of “Rent,” who receive some royalties from the school edition, said they hoped it would become a new, revenue-generating staple of the high school musical landscape, as well as a teaching tool that augments sex education and draws teenagers to acting and theater with a more modern production than, say, “The Music Man.”

In the short term, however, “Rent: School Edition” appears to be something of a cultural litmus test, with supporters and opponents of the play using its words and themes to battle. In recent years, school productions of “The Vagina Monologues” and the musical “Grease” have led to complaints, the latter for its drinking, smoking and kissing.

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