One high school in Utah has canceled their school musical production of "All Shook Up," a production that uses Elvis' music and is based on William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," because the district believes that the sexually suggestive song could be take as offensive by some according to the SLC Tribune reports on Thursday, Jan.3.
The students at the Herriman High School had already began rehearsing the play which was set to debut in February.
This is the second time the plug has been pulled on a high school production due to so-called inappropriate content in the past few weeks. In December an Ohio woman was forced to resign from her post as drama teacher after a sold-out production of “Legally Blonde” was deemed too racy by school officials."We started in September, it was not a secret, everyone knew about it," said Kat Fishback, a Herriman High sophomore who worked on the production.
Students were informed Wednesday that their musical, which had been approved a year ago, did not conform to a new policy.
It is reported that the Jordan School Board revised its policy on drama productions in August, shortly after the conservative Utah Eagle Forum condemned students performing "Dead Man Walking" at Bingham High. The group said in a statement the play was filled with profanity, sexual language, racial slurs, political bias and "inappropriate use of biblical teachings."
On Wednesday, Sandy Riesgraf, Jordan district spokeswoman, said one "community member" complained about "All Shook Up." This person filed a complaint just before the school’s winter break, Riesgraf said, so that’s when school administrators reviewed the musical. When the students returned from break on Wednesday, administrators announced the musical was canceled.
"[Administrators] read the play, and there were some aspects of play that could be offensive to some under our new revised policy," Riesgraf said. "We want our drama to be a great experience not just for our students but the theater-goers. We don’t want to offend anyone."
About 700 people attend the high school productions.
Riesgraf said the musical could not be changed to be less offensive because of copyright laws, so it had to be canceled.
The synopsis of the musical from the SCERA Center website: "The story is all new. The music is all Elvis. In a small Midwest town in the 1950s, Natalie dreams of riding off on her motorbike to find the man of her dreams. Inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley, this jukebox musical comedy has a leather-jacketed, guitar-playing roustabout who changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling, lip-curling fantasy that’ll have you jumpin’ out of your blue suede shoes with a string of Elvis classics including ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ and ‘Love Me Tender.’ "
Under the district’s drama policy, schools can perform Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night."
The Jordan School Board changed its policy on drama productions in August after criticism over Bingham High performing “Dead Man Walking.” In its revised policy, parents have to sign consent forms before their students may participate in plays. Also, more parents will serve on the school and district committees that select which plays to produce.
"I absolutely do not find [‘All Shook Up’] offensive," Kat Fishback said. "I find it very offensive that they approved ‘Twelfth Night.’ "
Throughout music history Elvis Presley was considered a major controversy in the music business from his early beginnings, A combination of his strong response to rhythm and nervousness at playing before a large crowd led Presley to shake his legs as he performed, his wide-cut pants emphasized his movements, causing young women in the audience to start screaming.
During the instrumental parts he would back off from the mike and be playing and shaking, and the crowd would just go wild. As Elvis Presley quickly grew more confident on stage his movement was a natural thing, but he was also very conscious of what got a reaction. He'd do something one time and then he would expand on it real quick.
In the early 1950s Ed Sullivan, booked the Elvis for three appearances for an unprecedented $50,000.The first, on September 9, 1956, was seen by approximately 60 million viewers—a record 82.6 percent of the television audience. Actor Charles Laughton hosted the show, filling in while Sullivan recuperated from a car accident. Presley appeared in two segments that night from CBS Television City in Los Angeles. According to Elvis legend, Presley was shot only from the waist up.
Watching clips of the Allen and Berle shows with his producer, Ed Sullivan had opined that Presley "got some kind of device hanging down below the crotch of his pants–so when he moves his legs back and forth you can see the outline of his c**k. ... I think it's a Coke bottle. ... We just can't have this on a Sunday night. This is a family show!" Sullivan publicly told TV Guide, "As for his gyrations, the whole thing can be controlled with camera shots." In fact, Presley was shown head-to-toe in the first and second shows. Though the camera work was relatively discreet during his debut, with leg-concealing closeups when he danced, the studio audience reacted in customary style: screaming.
That was then and this is 2013, the era of reality television, uncensored music, movies, and the Internet, do you really believe that Elvis Presley songs dating back to the 50s and 60s that a handful of people feel are inappropriate is really what the school districts need to be focusing their time and energies on in light of the recent school shootings?
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