Playwright’s production ban ‘bold’

Gabrielle Garcia/Staff Writer


After national outrage and pressure provoked by Sports Corporations, Hollywood and other sectors, incited by a discriminatory religious liberties bill in Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the controversial bill. Despite the veto, corporations and organizations nationwide continue to keep a close eye on such legislation.

On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory, signed a controversial bill that blocks cities from allowing transgender individuals to use public restrooms for the sex they identify as, among other legislative components which limit anti-discriminatory laws.

In response to the outrageous legislation that was passed in North Carolina, Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, the iconic writer and producer of hit Broadway musicals such as Wicked, Pippin and Godspell, announced that he has consulted with his licensing organizations and his team of producers to deny the right to any theatre or similar organization in North Carolina to produce any of his shows.

On April 1, 2016, the online theatre publication publicized an e-mail written by Schwartz, expressing his intolerance for discriminatory legislation:

“To my fellow theatre writers and producers: …I feel that it is very important that any state that passes such a law suffer economic and cultural consequences, partly because it is deserved and partly to discourage other states from following suit.”

Schwartz added, “Therefore, I and my collaborators are acting to deny the right to any theatre or organization based in North Carolina to produce any of our shows. We have informed our licensing organizations and touring producers of this, and I’m happy to say have met with compliance and approval from them.”

Schwartz’s bold response to discriminatory legislation is not solely marshaling the Broadway world to fight back— his actions serve as an example to all individuals and organizations nationwide to incite constructive dialogue.  

Though the U.S. has grown and has made significant steps towards anti-discriminatory laws, the legislative decisions in North Carolina not only paradox this progress but also represent a degenerative regression to backward thinking.

Though Schwartz made a bold choice by proposing to ban performances and productions in North Carolina, I contend that his efforts serve as a platform for positive and constructive change. I remain hopeful that Schwartz’s example, among the many other efforts put forth by organizations, corporations and the voices and ideas of the American people continue to forge a progressive path toward the future.  



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


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