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Canceled Production of BE MORE CHILL Revived at Turlock High School

The school district canceled the production after the opening night performance due to the show's mature content, prompting outcry from the show's composer, Joe Iconis.

Canceled Production of BE MORE CHILL Revived at Turlock High School

A previously canceled production of Joe Iconis' teen sci-fi musical, Be More Chill, has been reinstated at Turlock High School in California.

According to an announcement from the school, the musical will have another run May 13-15. Due to mature content/themes, children under 13 will not be permitted without a parent/guardian.

The school was originally set to perform the hit musical from April 7th through today, Sunday, April 10th. Outcry from the site administration caused the school district to cancel the production after the opening night performance.

The high school's modified production of the show was advertised with a disclaimer stating that it contained some adult themes. Signs mentioned that parental guidance was recommended. However, the Turlock Unified School District spokeswoman, Marie Russell, released a statement on April 8th, canceling all performances of the show for "concerns that the content was too mature for a general audience that includes all age levels."

The Turlock High School Instagram account posted an announcement on their page, stating, "We share in the disappointment of the cancellation of our Spring Musical and recognize the time and effort that students and staff have put into the production. We will be reviewing protocols for approval of all TUSD performances going forward. You may receive a refund at the THS Activities Office by bringing in your tickets that you purchased. Our office hours are from 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you have any questions, please call the office (209) 667-0797."

The spokeswoman stated that the site administration and director didn't communicate effectively concerning the approval of the spring musical. The Modesto Bee shared that, "A message posted to Turlock High's website Friday said the district will review protocols for approval of all performances moving forward."

Today, the news of the show's cancellation grabbed the attention of the show's creator, Joe Iconis. In a reply tweet to the article, he wrote, "This is absolutely horrifying. Investigating on my end..."

In another tweet, Iconis continued, "So, this was an official, licensed, production of BMC (Be More Chill). I cannot possibly fathom how @turlockshs and @tUSdSupDana could let students rehearse for months and allow them to do an ACTUAL PERFORMANCE before pulling the plug because of content? Can someone explain please?"

The Broadway creator continued tweeting, responding to arts administrator and advocate Howard Sherman, who had stated that the Turlock High School administration wrongfully believes they are protecting students. Iconis continued, "I completely agree. However, in this instance, the thing that is the most disturbing is that the production was allowed to get so far. It's not hard to feel like they did one performance and parents complained and then the show was cancelled."

He continued, "But I really hope I'm wrong about that, because what a gross and cowardly move on the part of the administration THAT would be." So far, there have been no further statements from Turlock High School administration.



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