The recent cancellation of the Douglas Anderson School of the Performing Arts production of “Indecent” has left student actors and playwright Paula Vogel heartbroken over the implications.
Duval County Public Schools told Teen Vogue that the decision to cancel the play “has no relevance to any legislation.” The legislation in question is the recently passed Parental Rights in Education Act, which threatens schools with legal action if they allude to anything LGBT in the classroom. Students aren’t buying the county’s dismissal of the connection.
Censorship has stretched far beyond the stage in the months since the act was passed.
Teachers from Duval County report being directed to remove “safe space” stickers from around their classrooms. According to a legal brief cited by Law & Crime, Pasco County called for the same, with further examples in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Orange County.
Assuming that “Indecent” was canceled by the county in accordance with the Parental Rights Act hardly feels like a stretch, then.
The viral incident caught the attention of the play’s author, Paula Vogel.
Vogel’s “Indecent” tells the story of the Broadway debut of Yiddish play “God of Vengeance” in 1923 following its cancellation for obscenity and the terrible impact that had on its cast.
In response to the censorship of her play, Vogel told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “The first step towards totalitarianism is censorship of the arts.”