The long-running Broadway musical Rent has been edited for the school stage, but the truncated version retains themes of drugs, AIDS, and homosexuality that have some administrators running scared, the New York Times reports. High school productions around the country have met with administrative and parental resistance, forcing organizers to cancel some productions, at least temporarily.
“I know we can’t stick our heads in the sand, I know drugs are out there, I know teens are having sex,” said one superintendent. “But I don’t know if we need Rent.” The edited version dumps some profanity and one song but doesn’t soft-pedal its central topics. Said a producer: “It makes sense to me that we’ll take steps forward and hit a pothole and take a step backward. But you know what? The kids are going to win.”