Secrets (play)

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Date: 1995

Region: North America

Subject: Language, Explicit Sexuality, Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Theater Performing Art


Artist: Patricia Loughery playwright sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Healthcare.

Confronting Bodies: Parents of school children and School Board members

Dates of Action: 1995

Location: Fremont, California.

Description of Artwork: The playSecrets is an AIDS education drama for high school students. It recounts the tale of a teenage boy who tests positive for HIV, and the consequences this has on himself, his family and girlfriend. The play was a recipient of the Ryan White award for excellence in AIDS education, and was named one of the "thousand points of light," by President George Bush (41).

The Incident: The play was scheduled to be performed at a school. A school board member attended a dress rehearsal and dissatisfied with the content of the play, contacted the district superintendent and other board members. The superintendent based upon bureaucratic concern, ordered the play to be canceled until a review process of the play's content could be completed. During the review, the board found that the play was not consistent with the message of abstinence, which was "the philosophy of [the] district..."

Results of Incident: The play was canceled at the school and rescheduled for performance after school hours at the Glendale Teen Center.

Source: NCAC: based on a report in "Artistic Expression Under Attack," Vol. 3, 1995 provided by People for the American Way