Pope and the Witch Opens, Controversy Ensues
Minnesota Daily, MINNEAPOLIS - The Pope and the Witch, though delayed by Thursday's blizzard and subsequent closing of the University of Minnesota buildings, opened on Friday on Rarig's mainstage. Some folks really aren't happy about it. [full story here]
The University's decision to mount this particular play play, which has been described as a "blasphemous" "attack on Catholicism" has recieved a lot of attention and heat recently. But the U went on in the name of artistic expression (increasing the security and checking bags along the way), and the show opened against the wishes of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Though the pre-opening buzz was considerable, attracting several local news sources, few anticipated the stir created on opening night when semarian protestors from St. John Vianney College Seminary recited the Lord's prayer, the rosary, and sang hymns outside of Rarig before Friday's opening.
Some see Thursday's cancellation as an act of God, showing his displeasure with the content of the play. For more information on the opening night happenings: click here.
Robert Rosen, director of Pope and the Witch, never thought the reaction would be this strong. In his director's statement, he explains that he chose this play because it is politically relevant to our daily lives. He stands by his production, and he defends the right of students and others to learn through satire, parody, and art - even when views are unpopular.
In an effort to create learning and understanding for all, there is a meeting before March 8th's performance. A Town Hall meeting is being held between 4:00 and 6:00 to discuss the play and its content. Afterward, the play will run and a talk-back will follow the performance. The public is encouraged to come.
The show will run through March 9th, without performances on the 5th and 6th. For ticket information call 612.624.2345
Additional Information/Related Links
- Pioneer Press: Curtain rises on disputed play tonight
- Catholic Online, CA: The Catholic Spirit: ‘Pope and Witch’ draws Catholic protests
- City Pages: Apocalypse Now
- St. Cloud Times (Opinion): U of M makes poor choice with play
- Pioneer Press, 11/06: U resists Bishops' call to block Vatican satire
- Pioneer Press, 1/07: Actor tackles two Catholic-related roles with, well, religioud fervor