An LGBT theater company in Atlanta has been called “blasphemous” for staging a play that retells stories from the Old Testament with queer characters.
The Out Front Theater Company has been heavily criticized by religious conservatives for its upcoming production of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.”
The play, which presents alternate versions of Bible stories, premiered Off Broadway in 1998. The main cast includes a gay couple named Adam and Steve and a lesbian couple named Jane and Mabel.
Out Front decided to stage its own interpretation a year ago, but began to receive emails, phone calls, letters and messages on social media blasting the decision late last month.
“We had already been in rehearsals for several weeks and had auditions before that,” Paul Conroy, the theater’s artistic director, told the New York Times. “I guess that’s just when someone found us and my best guess was that it was a Monday, which means that people were at church on Sunday the day before, and that’s when it picked up steam.”
The main group behind the protest seems to be a conservative Catholic organization called America Needs Fatima, which started an online petition against the production that has garnered more than 40,000 signatures. The group has protested stagings of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” before, along with other “objectionable” works of Theater.
This petition reads: “I vehemently protest your showing the blasphemous play ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,’ which, among other blasphemies, refers to the Virgin Mary as a lesbian. Please cancel your showing of it.”
Conroy said there were no plans to cancel the show.
“I’m going to let the show speak for itself,” Conroy said. “I don’t see the benefit in responding because I don’t think they’re going to change their minds no matter what I say or anyone else says. These people have their minds made up even before it starts.”