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NACS board hears comment about cancellation of theater production over LGBTQ portrayal

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A petition continues to gather signatures requesting the play be allowed to go forward.

The Northwest Allen County board heard nearly an hour of public comment Monday, following the cancellation of a student production of the play ‘Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood.’

On Friday, before students began their second day of auditions, Carroll High School’s principal announced the play would be canceled. The school received about 10 calls from parents who expressed concerns over the depictions of a same-sex relationship and a non-binary character.

Comments were divided between support for the decision to cancel and those who wanted the play to continue. Students who spoke were unanimous in their outrage over the decision to cancel the play, while several parents and other community members cited politics and religion in their support for the cancellation.

During his comments, superintendent Wayne Barker said the decision to cancel was made by Carroll’s principal, without input from the district or the board, but was made with the students' well-being in mind. Barker said the principal was concerned about harassment or heckling if the play continued.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.