The 'Controversy' of Corpus Christi

October 9, 2014 3:14 PM

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The 'Controversy' of Corpus Christi

In 1998 when Terrence McNally wrote a play about a young gay Jesus, you might have thought the world was coming to an end. (You still might actually.) A few words of misinformation about the piece were written before it even opened, and suddenly a firestorm of protests filled the streets. What began as a peaceful exploration in rehearsals ended with actors and crew walking through metal detectors, bomb sniffing dogs, and throes of violent screaming. A fatwah was issued on the playwright's life and the term "controversy" became synonymous with Corpus Christi.

On one hand I read that sentence and think "Geez people, it's only a play. Don't take it so seriously." On the other hand I read it as "Hell yes, it's only a play and we've got something to say." Therein lies the beautiful yin and yang of theatre, and why we are drawn to perform or watch it in the f...

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