Lynchburg Play About Religion, Sexuality Creates Controversy
Photographer: Levi Washburn
Lynchburg, VA- A play at Randolph College has created quite a buzz in the theatre scene, and the sanctuary.
"Bare" is a completely different take on Romeo and Juliet. The show's director says it's all about love. And that's exactly why some churches in the area are against it.
It's about forbidden love, between two boys at a Catholic High School. It opens up a discussion that some don't approve of, and just aren't ready for.
"If God is love, can love really be evil, can love really be a sin?" said Dustin Williams, Director of "Bare."
"The point of the show is love can exist anywhere," said Hubbard Farr, an actor in "Bare."
"It can't be wrong if two people just love each other in a very pure and honest way," said Farr.
But this story is about two men falling in love. And some local churches have made their opinions known.
"Telling us they were disgusted and this wasn't something that needed to come into their town," said Williams.
Williams was expecting some opposition to Bare. But he says he wasn't trying to stir the pot.
"If it ever became an us against them type of thing, then we had lost, there was no point in doing it," he said.
Farr says some of the negative response to the play was hard to deal with.
"Oh my gosh, I'm going to lose friends over this, or do I really invite my parents?" he said.
But along with negativity, came support.
"We've had so much positive reinforcement. Just overwhelmingly positive compared to the negative that's come," said Williams.
And members of the play have a message for those who dislike the show's content.
"I respect your decision not to come, but if you'd like to come, just come with an open mind. We're not trying to change your mind, and we just want you to have a good theatre experience," said Ken Arpino, an actor in "Bare."
"We're not trying to change your mind, we're just saying think about it from the other side," said Williams.
"God is love. And this story really does prove that you know love can exist between any type of person," said Farr.
"Bare" has two performances left this weekend, Saturday night at 8 and Sunday afternoon at 3.
To learn more about "Bare" and it's opening off-Broadway in November click here.
To find out more about Wolfbane Productions click here.