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November 13, 2008

Inoffensive or Your Money Back

Impeccably timed to remind us that Americans are not, in fact, moving into the future at the same pace is this little controversy from Missouri, the red state that nearly went blue in the presidential election: A recent student production of Christopher Durang's 1979 dark comedy, "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You," managed to severely discomfort subscribers at Southeast Missouri State University. As the campus newspaper, The Arrow, puts it in a headline today, "'Sister Mary' explains all too much for some."

According to the local paper, the Southeast Missourian, "Patrons of student performances at Southeast Missouri State University's River Campus will receive refunds if they were offended by a recent play and won't see controversial offerings included in future season ticket packages." It further notes: "One of the people most offended by the performance was the theater's namesake, who wrote a letter to the school that 'a play that ridicules and scorns the Christian religion under the label of satire is inappropriate to be included in the offering of season ticket holders.'"

Eyebrow-raising as this mini-tempest may be (who knew Durang could still provoke outrage, even in Missouri?), the real surprise kicks in when we get down to cash: A subscription ticket to "Sister Mary Ignatius" cost all of $6.40.

But those who are successfully offended by the mere prospect of another play in the season, Tony Kushner's "Angels in America," scheduled for the spring, can get their money back for that, too.
November 13, 2008 9:57 AM | | Comments (1)


I assume that Wendy Kurka Rust is a Christian, since she found "Sister Mary" offensive. It makes me wonder if she would have been equally offended if the play had centered on different religion.

Three cheers for Chris Durang for still being able to stir passions and opinions! And kudos to SMSU's Theatre Department for having the timerity to provolk and challenge their audience.

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