FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Public comment at the Northwest Allen County Schools board meeting lasted over an hour Monday night as students, parents and community members voiced their thoughts on a Carroll High School play being canceled after two days of auditions.
Some parents complained about the content of the play. Now, there’s an online petition calling for administrators to allow the play to go on.
The show is called “Marian: The True Tale of Robin Hood.” In it, Marian has always been Robin Hood in disguise. There are also LGBTQ+ characters in the play.
The change.org petition, which has more than 3,300 signatures, alleges an administrator at Carroll greenlit the play, with a few modifications, but backed down after the complaints.
NACS Superintendent Wayne Barker said the play was canceled due to the well being of their students.
“We started to have students on both sides of the issue, and it started to become a divisive play choice for students,” Barker said. “Some students were very comfortable with the storyline of the play, others were not comfortable with the storyline of the play, and we just thought we needed to change the message so that the story really is about our students and their performance and their work ethic and their talents.”
Oiza Momoh, a sophomore at Carroll High School and member of the theatre department, said she would have liked for there to be more communication with students before administration made the decision to cancel the play.
“They didn’t even ask us about how we feel. They didn’t tell us anything. They didn’t really say anything to us. And so I think they really could have just had a conversation with us. And what we’re doing now could have probably happened beforehand,” Momoh said.
Superintendent Barker said while neither he nor the board made the decision to cancel the play, he understood and supported the decision that was made.
Tristan Wasserman, a senior at Carroll High School who auditioned for a role in the play, said he is disappointed in the school’s decision to cancel it.
“This play is a play about being who you are no matter what other people say and think, and I think it’s incredibly ironic and hypocritical for the school to pull this play of all plays for something as silly as a few characters being themselves,” Wasserman said.
Wasserman said even with the risk of people showing up to the play being disruptive, he still would have performed.
“If some people show up to, you know, harass us or heckle us or you know, not be there and support, I’m still going to go on perform as best as I know how and as best as I possibly can, because that’s what I do. And I’d much rather stand up and take some hate than lay down and let it win,” Wasserman said.
Barker confirmed that the play will not be performed.