Friday, December 10, 2010

13 - Not in My Suburb!

Recently the production of the musical 13 was pulled by the Shen school district for being too provocative for their stage.  The director had secured the rights to the play, ordered the playbills and had begun casting.  But the plug was pulled and instead they are now planning a Disney perfomance for their middle school drama production.  Intrigued by this censorship, I began researching this dirty little play...

13 is the story of a young man quickly approaching his Bar Mitzvah.  In the Jewish faith, this symbolizes adulthood.  As scary as that can be for the adoloscent male, our hero is also suffering through his parent's divorce, a move to a small town, a best friend that "everyone hates", and oh yeh, he is turning 13.  We all remember how confusing and life changing that can be.  Hmm... Sounds like great drama for the stage!  Sounds like something that other coming of age tweens can relate to!  Sounds like it might keep some middle schoolers from rolling their eyes in boredom!  Sounds like my urban district should consider this!

As the action progresses, our hero manages to adapt to his new town, join a peer group, and enjoy a great Bar Mitzvah.  Of course nothing goes smoothly and as we watch we are taken back to our own days in middle school.  Making new friends, leaving old ones behind, peer pressure, first dates, anxiety about first dates, and the like.  Enter the provocative.  These adoloscents are thinking about holding hands (yikes!), kissing each other (on the mouth!), and their budding sexual feelings for each other (duh!).  Something the Shen district calls "inuendo".  Accompany all this devilishness with signing and dancing and ... you must shut down production.

Sorry suburbanites, you will just have to stay 12.

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