Quebec Theatre is Faced With a Fine For a Fake Cigarette Featured on Stage
A recent production in Quebec featured an actor in an oversized penis costume. However, according to City News 1130, that isn't what authorities took issue with.
Health inspectors came to a performance of "Conversations With My Penis" at Premier Acte Theatre, where they informed the general manager that he would be facing a fine of $500 because an actor lit up a fake cigarette.
"It was hardly 30 years ago that it was the penis that would have shocked everyone, and the priests would have mounted the barricades," said Marc Gourdeau, the theatre's general director.
According to the Tobacco Control Act, any products "that are put to one's mouth to inhale any substance that may or may not contain nicotine" are forbidden in "enclosed spaces where activities of a sports or recreational, judicial, cultural or artistic nature are presented."
While the cigarette is fake, and filled with sage, not tobacco, the theatre is still facing a fine. The health inspectors chose to spare the actor, who could have been fined up to $250.
"Conversations with my Penis," written by New Zealand's Dean Hewison, was presented from November 27 to December 7. The cigarette was removed from the performance after the visit from the health officials on December 3.
Gourdeau said the company is considering challenging the fine.
"For us, the challenge is not about not paying the $500 fine, but, in an ideal world, to create a jurisprudence that would resolve the problem once and for all," he said.
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