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Artists Beware: Magdalen Theater Company nixes play at last minute

This spring, director Lori Hoffman and a repertory of Portland artists were about to put on a play based on the work of Aldous Huxley, called "The Devils of Loudon." However, the theater company, Magdalen, who sponsored the cast nixed the play on the last minute, a week before the play was about to show. The Magdalen Theater Company stated that due to the controversial nature of the play, which deals with the Catholic Church, the play could not be shown publicly, thus leaving the director and the cast without a play and without reimbursement for lost time.
The public is once again denied the right to judge art for art's sake. After three months of hard work, rehearsals, serious work, prop and lighting preparation and various directorial projects, Magdalen Theater Company refused to allow a play to be publicly shown due to "controversial content." Not only is this a blatant form of corporate McCarthyism, but Magdalen refuses to pay or to reimburse the director, artists and actors who worked on the project for three months straight.

Lori Hoffman who is a local director in Portland alternative theater was preparing to stage a self-written play based on the book of Aldous Huxley called "The Devils of Loudon." The play has been staged by various theater companies before, such as the Royal Shakespeare Company in Britain. The play dealt with issues concerning demonic possession within the Catholic Church. Lori contacted Julie Moorehouse of Magdalen Theater Company, which agreed to publicize, produce, find available space and pay the directors, a movement coach, actors and artists. The work started last November and Lori hired set designers, artists, assistant directors, and a cast of 14 actors. The play was open in March, so the rehearsals started in January. As the work progressed to opening night, Lori became somewhat nervous over the lack of space for the opening revue. Magdalen claimed to have a few spaces, such as a High School and a Middle School in Beaverton. The director felt that the spaces were not appropriate for the alternative nature of the production, but eventually she relented to Magdalen's pressures. Magdalen also wanted some of the scenes from the play cut out: again, Lori relented and cut some scenes out. A week before opening night, a "representative" from Jule Moorehouse, the artistic director of Magdalen, informed everyone that the play was cancelled due to the "overly controversial nature of the play concerning the Catholic Church." The double cross hurt even more when Lori, the director of the play, found out that "the representative" was named to direct the next play for Magdalen, and most disheartening is that Magdalen still to this day refuses to pay any of the directors, artists and the cast for their work. Magdalen's Censoring stab in the back has broken the circle of trust that exists in Portland alternative theater.

Meanwhile, for the sake of the craft of acting and directing, Lori Hoffman plans to show the play in another form of written adaptation within the next few months. The play will be around one hour with few actors, and it will be shown in an alternative space more appopriate for the work, probably at the Back Door Theater in SE Portland. Artists Beware: Magdalen Theater Company censors and destroys Art.
lawsuit time 22.Apr.2002 14:51

Steven James Blake steveb@nspi-inc.com

I suggest those parties that were damaged sue the living pants off the megelan and their corperate board members for libel and loss of profits, and denial of free speech.

In addition since this is a contractual deal, You may sue in the newly created world court for loss of future monetary disbursements.

I am sure you can find a lawyer to work for a peice of the action.

Put it to them with their own tools.

Plus you could enact the play on the steps of the megelan.

would'nt that be cool

Steven James Blake
Proud Citizen of
The United States of America

NOT

the fascist nazi-bootlicking "STATE" of George enron Bush and companies america

Censorship 22.Apr.2002 14:52

CMC

As someone once said, cultures that burn books will eventually burn people. Although I am paraphrasing this saying, we must fight censorship wherever it rears its ugly head. I also find it interesting that the play is being targeted in light of the current scandals surrounding the Catholic church. We know the church has been involved in variuos cover-ups and other shenanigans for the last two millenia. And now they're afraid that plays such as The Devils of Loudon will expose the inherent moral and ethical bankruptcy of not only the church but of Chrstianity itself.