AMERICAN IDIOT Update: Conflicting Statements Indicate H.S. Edits Were Not Yet Approved by Licensor
As reported yesterday by BroadwayWorld, noted theatre producer and arts administrator Howard Sherman has investigated a controversy at Connecticut's Enfield High School, where a planned production of the 2010 Broadway musical based on Green Day's landmark album AMERICAN IDIOT has been, as stated by drama teacher Nate Ferreira, "set aside" due to "a very small number of extremely vocal people (who) have complained about our choice of production."
As originally reported, Ferreira expressed in an email sent to the school community that he worked with the musical's licensing agent. Music Theatre International, to create a revised version of the text that was not only acceptable to both parties, but that MTI was interested in using as an official High School version of the show. This included modifying some of composer/lyricist Billie Joe Armstrong's language and some of the imagery used the story of three young men trying to make sense of their lives in a post-9/11 America.
Sherman has updated his report after a Hartford Courant story quoting Ferreira indicated that full MTI approval of his edits were not yet accepted.
"Ferreira said the performance included 'a lot of swearing,' quotes the Hartford Courant, "which Ferreira said he'd hoped to limit or eliminate pending approval from the publisher."
After Sherman's report was updated, he received an email from Ferreira, which did not address his previous claim that, "The publisher is even starting the process of turning our edited version of the script into their official 'School Edition' of the play, to allow other high schools to easily perform this play in the future."
Instead he states, "I had a full list of changes that I felt were necessary to the dialogue, and they would have had to meet approval by the publisher. I made several phone calls to MTI during the past year, and their staff were extremely helpful in explaining the procedures for requesting edits."
The school now plans to present LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS as a replacement.
Armstrong's original response to the situation came in the form of the Instagram post seen below. Click here for full details on HeSherman.com.
dear Enfield high school board, #enfieldhighschoolmusical #highschoolidiot #enfieldidiot It has come to my attention that you cancelled your high school theater production of American Idiot. I realize the content of the Broadway production of AI is not quite "suitable" for a younger audience. However there is a high school rendition of the production and I believe that's the one Enfield was planning to perform which is suitable for most people. it would be a shame if these high schoolers were shut down over some of the content that may be challenging for some of the audience. but the bigger issue is censorship. this production tackles issues in a post 9/11 world and I believe the kids should be heard. and most of all be creative in telling a story about our history. I hope you reconsider and allow them to create an amazing night of theater! as they say on Broadway .. "the show must go on!" rage and love Billie Joe Armstrong ps. I love that your school is called "Raiders"