Among the first casualties of the Kinkaid School's Skip McGee-induced culture war were events surrounding a production of The Laramie Project. Now the play is finally up, albeit with fortified security and a new, perhaps more relevant context.
While the diversity lockdown took down some Laramie rehearsals and "talkbacks," it was a freak snow storm that forced Saturday's performance to be called off. (Is God on Skip's side?)
Sunday's show, however, went off without a hitch, even as the Kinkaid School braced itself for war. An embedded tipster reports from the trenches:
Don North (headmaster) evidently got nervous because the Houston Chronicle broke its version of the scandal as a Sunday front pager. So there were policemen all over the (already gated and be-security kiosked) campus. One on hand: wtf? This is what happens when you become too convinced you're the center of the universe. On the other, though, this guy and his crotchety board of trustees ushered in the publicity wars via their mismanagement of the deal from the beginning, so perhaps we can't really blame him for taking extra steps to look out for everybody on his watch.
The Kinkaid School's police state sounds awful, but it's hard to tell if it's North's fault. If anything, this stuff is pretty squarely on asinine homophobes' shoulders. But let us move to happier, and more inspirational news:
[Student body president] Andrew Edison, our boy hero of the McGee saga, is prominently featured in the production and is quite a talented actor. I suppose not surprising, given the pretty creative campaign video we've seen from him, but cool to witness nonetheless.
Laramie is such a simple little play, powerful in its honesty and lack of an outwardly obvious agenda. Well, it condemns two kids who brutally murdered a third because of his sexuality. And it glorifies the town for looking inward and participating in such an expository project in the wake of its most famous tragedy. So I suppose there are those who will call that an agenda. But, you know. My point being, it was a nice little reminder to all these parents who are bemoaning "too much diversity" of just how ridiculous they sound. Then again, we'd be naive to assume any of those parents were in the audience.