Students cut Shakespeare play short because it was ‘suggestive in nature’

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

A seventh-grade field trip to see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Paul Green Theatre on the campus of University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill was cut short on Friday when staff decided the play was “suggestive in nature.”

According to the UNC events website, PlayMakers billed the play, written by William Shakespeare, as a “lyrical comedy (that) weaves together a trio of stories set in a magical wood. During the course of a moonlit evening, four young lovers escape to the first on a fantastic adventure, changing them forever.”

Richmond County Schools officials have said there was no indication that the play was to be "suggestive in nature."

Richmond County Schools officials have said there was no indication that the play was to be “suggestive in nature.”

Through Mallory Brown, public information officer with Richmond County Schools, Principal Julian Carter said that “the teachers in charge of the planning the trip spoke with theater personnel prior to the trip.” Those theater employees, Carter said, “assured them that the play was appropriate for middle school students.”

The teachers didn’t agree when, according to multiple students, one actress appeared to be nude — she wore a tight, skin-colored suit which simulated nudity — and when two men kissed.

“During the first act, teachers noticed a few themes that were suggestive in nature and, as a result, made the decision to leave after the first act,” Carter said, through Brown. “We believe these teachers acted in the best interest of their students and we are pleased with the way they handled it.”

The trip costs students, and their parents, $25 each. It’s unknown what portion of that fee went towards the play.

The students ended up eating lunch early and heading to the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, where they waited outside until it was time to go in.

Attempts to reach a play representative were not immediately successful.

Filed in: Education, Latest Headlines, News, Rockingham

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  • momatad

    Ferchristsake, people…….did none of them think to READ the play before taking the kids to see it? I don’t blame the play….Shakespeare has been around for 500 years now…….I blame the trip planners who didn’t ‘vet’ the play first.

    • Sierra Ramsay

      I was one of the students that attended the field trip and I just wanted to tell everyone that NO ONE appeared nude on the stage the closest apperence to nude was a strippy dress that was not covered. The play was actually amusing and I saw a lot of kids laughing about it. I really wish we would of stayed for the 2nd half of the show. The part that I didn’t like about the field trip was us standing outside for at least an hour and a half while we waited on our lunches to arrive. We were really cold and a lot of people were then sick.

  • Susan K Browder

    Shakespeare can be “suggestive in nature,” not to mention rather sophisticated for seventh-graders. Somebody made a questionable decision before the kids ever got on the activity bus.

  • Daffy

    It is true someone made a mistake and picked the wrong program. That is easy to do. However, you all took a stand for decency and I applaud your morals. You have my full support. Way to go teachers !

  • Dean Jenks

    I agree with the previous post. I’m a little concerned that any pf our teachers had to ask about the contents of the work. The Bard was known for suggestive innuendo, as is most literature of the age. simply removing the seventh graders from such a masterpiece is a travesty in and of itself. A chance to watch Shakespeare done as done by such a professional group is a privilege. removing the student only increases what was thought of as inappropriate. How about reading the work before trying to actually seeing it done; some understanding of the era and its literature would temper any surpisees that may occur.

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