The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 19, 2011

School changes play plans

— It’s a classic Tony Award-winning musical about a poor, wily street poet.

But “Kismet” is also set on Baghdad’s Muslim streets. And complaints about its content from local community members have prompted those who oversee Richland’s Performing Arts program to pull it from their 2012 schedule.

District officials voiced no issues of their own about the classic musical but called its timing “poor” on the heels of 9/11’s 10th anniversary – and not worth putting students through potential controversy or criticism.

“There were some concerns,” Superintendent Thomas Fleming Jr. said.

“After reviewing the script, the decision was made to move on rather than risk controversy. We’re in the business of trying to do what’s best for the kids – not to do anything detrimental if we can avoid it.”

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