Friday, January 13, 2012

Following “The Bus” Again

Did James Lantz’s The Bus about two gay teens ever make it to Topeka to symbolically play near the hateful Westboro Baptist Church headed by Fred Phelps? 

It sure did!! 

The production team partnered with Phelps’ estranged son who left his father’s home on his 18th birthday and not only brought the play to Kansas but played to its largest audience ever and standing ovations. According to the show’s Kickstarter update: In our audience was a mother whose son died of AIDS, parents who came to understand, students who drove up to three hours to see our show, gay couples and straight folk, believers and atheists, people on the front lines fighting for LGBT rights in Kansas -- and even a couple of Kickstarter supporters.

Now, I don’t want to waste my time or your time for that matter discussing the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church which is comprised primarily Phelps family members and classified as a hate group. Check out the BBC documentary The Most Hated Family in America for that. I will never understand their anti-gay protests and hateful picketing bearing signs such as "Thank God For Dead Soldiers" at the funerals of military soldiers (even if it is protected under the U.S. Constitution). 

I do however admire the journey of The Bus and the production team's efforts to use art to take a stand against hate. Check out my prior posts on The Bus here and here.

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