University Cancels Performance of Gay Jesus Play

Professor cites safety concerns in cancellation

Tarleton State University has canceled the performance of a controversial play that portrays Jesus as gay.

A student-directed production of "Corpus Christi" was scheduled for Saturday, along with three other plays.

The professor in charge of the plays said the performances were canceled for the safety and security of the students.

The university had earlier planned to move down the start time for "Corpus Christi" and limit the audience to invited guests and relatives of the cast.

Critics say the Terrence McNally play, which premiered in 1998 in New York, is blasphemous.

John Jordan Otte, the director, said he is a gay Christian and chose the play to help other gay youths who may be struggling with their faith.

In a Tarleton student TV interview provided last week to The Associated Press, Otte said he was saddened that the play was being judged before it was staged.

The president of the university, which is in Stephenville, had earlier said that while the production is offensive to many, it is protected by the students' right to free speech.

None of the four student-directed plays at Tarleton will be rescheduled.

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