Produces Corpus Christi
Allen is involved in a controversial play to be presented in LA. The same work
was recently the subject of an effort by a group of local residents and state
lawmakers in Indiana who had filed a lawsuit seeking to prohibit Indiana
University-Purdue University Fort Wayne from putting on Terrence McNally's
"Corpus Christi'' at a school theater.
They argued that taxpayer money should not be used to help
subsidize a production that attacks religion.
U.S. District Judge William C. Lee ruled the plaintiffs failed
to show how the production would violate the separation of church and state.
The play, set in modern-day Texas, features a hard-drinking
gay named Joshua and 12 other gay male characters, most of whom bear the names
of Christ's apostles.
The play drew protests when it opened in New York in 1998 and
has generated controversy in other communities where it has been staged.
Here is what AOL News had to report on the play's LA showing:
Terrence McNally's ``Corpus Christi'' Will Have Its Los Angeles Premiere
At the Lillian Theater; Presented by Chad Allen and God Help! Productions
LOS ANGELES--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--July 23, 2001--
"Corpus Christi" Features a Score and Stage
Direction by the Creators of the Pop-Hit Musical "bare"; Aug. 9
Through Oct. 21, 2001.
Opening Night is Friday, Aug. 17, 8 p.m.; Tickets Now on Sale
The 1998 Off-Broadway production of Terrence McNally's
"Corpus Christi" will have its Los Angeles premiere on Friday, August
17 at The Lillian Theater in Hollywood.
Presented by Chad Allen ("Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman") and God Help!
Productions ("bare"), "Corpus Christi" features a score by
Damon Intrabartolo ("bare") and direction by Kristin Hanggi
("Crane, Mississippi" and "bare").
Hanggi will direct a cast of thirteen in this contemporary drama that parallels
the New Testament's story of Jesus. But McNally's Christ-figure is a character
named Joshua, a young man born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the early
Different from other boys because he is a homosexual, Joshua
grows up in isolation and torment, an object of scorn. He flees Corpus Christi
in search of a more accepting environment, gathering along the way of a group of
disciples who are bound to him by his message of love and tolerance.
According to Time magazine, McNally's play is "a serious,
even reverent retelling of the Christ story in a modern idiom -- quite close, in
its way, to the original ... If the point is to make Jesus' teachings live for a
contemporary audience, activist Christians should be hailing this play, not
trying to suppress it ... One of McNally's best, most moving and personal works.
"His updating of the Christ story is witty, but not
patronizing as sober and cleansing as a dip in baptismal waters."
"I have always been excited by the rhythm in Terrence
McNally's work. There is an inherent flow, music, that I want to capture,"
said director Kristin
Hanggi. "'Corpus Christi' looks at the story of Jesus and creates a
'Christ-like figure' with real desires and real flaws -- a man.
"As I was raised in a rigorously Christian atmosphere, it
was important to me to see the character of Joshua as human. And in a country
where hate crimes are still prevalent and all too real on large and small
scales, this story has real potency."
Joining the creative team are Nick Keslake as scenic designer,
Danielle Bray as costume designer, and Jay Bolton as lighting designer.