I am writing to pledge my full support of 108 Productions’ performance of my play CORPUS CHRISTI. When the show had its world premiere ten years ago at
the Manhattan Theatre Club the production was nearly cancelled as a result of violent protests and unwarranted rumors about the play. CORPUS CHRISTI eventually did open but the content of the play was overshadowed by intense controversy. Theatre- goers had to walk through shouting throngs and metal detectors in order to get inside the theatre. The message of the play was lost in the shadow of death threats, hostility and vitriol.
Now, ten years later, the play is being seen without rancor and audiences are able to appreciate the essence of the piece. I first heard of this company when they opened the show in early 2006. Several friends who saw the work immediately contacted me. All of these people offered their praise for the extraordinary talents of the company as well the passionate conviction with which the piece was being performed. Without exception I was told “This is the way the play was meant to be seen.”
Since then I have contacted and followed this company through their journey with the play. From Los Angeles, to small tours in various California cities, to Edinburgh, Scotland, to the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, and finally last year to Off-Broadway, I have watched in awe as their deep belief in the play and its message has carried them around the world, even when money seemed an impossibility. Now, as they continue with plans through 2010 to create a national tour and document the piece in film for theatrical release, I have offered my full support in helping them in whatever way possible to make this happen.
Their grassroots fundraising and organization over the past year has taken diligent commitment and passionate hard work. Ten years ago the bigots and the censors almost won the day. They certainly succeeded in preventing anyone from experiencing the play in a pure form. This company has, and will continue, working hard to ensure that the piece is seen by as many people as possible in this politically-charged world, where tolerance and acceptance for all individuals still lies in question. Your help will ensure the success of their endeavors. Perhaps more importantly, your help will ensure the triumph of artistry over bigotry. It is my sincere hope that the simple message of inclusive love for all people in a world of division can finally be seen in the way that I had originally intended to reach audiences 10 years ago.
Playwright, CORPUS CHRISTI