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GRCC Play with nudity creates controversy

9:45 AM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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From Love! Valour! Compassion! by Actors Theater

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A play with nude actors put on by Actor's Grand Rapids Community College is stirring up debate. Trustees of the school, who admit some of their members are not happy with the Actor's Theater.

The play called "Love! Valour! Compassion!" is about people's journey with aids. It has short nudity scenes that some trustees and community members say are offensive. But it turns out the people complaining about the play, have never even seen it.

Two residents voiced complaints about the play. Burt Bleke, is speaking for The Grand Rapids Community College Trustee Board, which funds the theater.

Bleke says, "They were unhappy with the play that took place-- have they even seen it-- no they have not seen the play."

Bleke says several trustees are also uncomfortable with the play, and it could affect the theater come budget time.

Bleke says, "There are several board members that feel we should not be supporting actors theater with this sort of material."

The trustees also didn't see the play. Director Jolene Frankey doesn't understand how someone can judge a play they haven't seen.

Frankey says, "This show is about so much more than a fleeting moment of a naked man on a stage."

She stands by the theater's decision to not censor the play

"Not everyone is going to feel the same way about it, and that is the point, so if we challenged people, made you think a little bit, feel some things you didn't expect we think we've done our job."

She says art, is all about sharing all ideas.

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