By: Madison Tappa, Asst. Web and Business Editor and Kimberly Scanlan, Staff Intern
It’s almost time for the annual PBHS cappie’s show and tension is rising. With the first show on February 21, everything’s coming together slowly. On Feb. 4, the class finally finished Act 1, with a few being surprised that there was an Act 2. On the 11th (ten days before the first show), the class was informed that for some reason the script had received complaints from a parent due to language and sexual nature. Students were far from surprised by the complaint partly because it was quite obvious that the play was not appropriate in a school setting, and partly, because students had questioned the play from day one. When some characters recited their lines, blush reflected in their cheeks. For instance, in one scene, freshman Rodrigo Seminario pushes senior Gabriella Ribeiro on the floor and makes an inappropriate comment about her being down there.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that this is something that should not be said in any school setting. With this complaint, students were left scrambling to find a way to make their lines more appropriate for all ages. For some characters with curse words, it was an easy fix while for others, they curse every other word. Sophomore Audrey Maggio portrays a fairy who curses at a huge demon, so it’s supposed to be ironic that she is so tough instead of afraid. And thanks to this complaint, it saved “She Kills Monsters” from being shut down. A fear of some students was that parents would bring their young children to see this show when they clearly were not prepared for it. Among speaking with some students, they have said things such as “the show is so inappropriate that I’m not even inviting my parents.”
Theater students want to know why this show was selected in the first place. It’s extremely risky and difficult to stage.The play requires intense special effects which would be difficult for even the highest budget production to produce. At PBHS, we can’t even use fog machines because it sets off the smoke alarm. Not to mention the lighting, the PBHS auditorium is poorly equipped as far as lighting goes. Long hours will go into redoing the entire lighting board and it’s hardly worth it, because even with the replotting, we only have stationary lights, most of which don’t work. PBHS is not equipped for this kind of production which relies heavily on special effects.
Whenever Mr. Henderson tells students to rehearse, there are always moans and groans, making it clear that they don’t want to participate in this show. It is also the first show being put on at PBHS with LGBTQ characters and they are being portrayed in the raunchiest of ways. It’s definitely not a win in the sense that it dehumanizes the LGBTQ community by portraying them as demons and elves, while the only straight characters are “regular people”. With Mr. Henderson being the head of the GSA club, it almost doesn’t make sense to choose such a dehumanizing show for the LGBTQ community.
With all of the sexual innuendos in this show, it encourages sexual activities for teens and with all of the advances towards sexual activities that are not consensual in this show, it can encourage sexual assault, which is already a huge issue.
Unfortunately, this is not how the seniors wanted to spend their last year in theater. Hopefully next year students will be able to select the shows because not only does Mr. Henderson select shows that no one has hardly ever heard of, but students hardly have a say in the show that is being put on.