Nelson’s Cultural Ambassador Lucas Myers was barred from performing his one-man show Deck in a Grand Forks high school because of a brief scene where the actor comes on stage with posterior exposed.
The show was originally booked in the Grand Forks Secondary School auditorium, the only theatre venue in town. It was a public event, happening in the evening, as part of a four-night performance series organized by the Boundary Arts Council.
But the Boundary School District became alarmed by a warning that the show contains “partial nudity.” According to reports in the Grand Forks Gazette, the school district sent a letter to the arts council saying it couldn’t host the play in the theatre unless the nudity was removed.
“I was very surprised. I’ve done this show in other high school auditoriums and never run into a problem,” Myers told the Nelson Star.
He offered to wear underwear for the scene, but the arts council insisted he shouldn’t censor his art. Instead the play was moved to a movie cinema in town.
The arts council had to build a stage and bring in lighting to accommodate Myers’ performance, which is slated for Thursday.
Though the show will go on, the Boundary Arts Council still intends to call out the school district for its decision. According to the Gazette, there was nothing in the auditorium rental agreement about the ban on nudity in the school theatre and the arts council felt the rule was being arbitrarily enforced. The arts council will bring its concerns to an upcoming school board meeting.
For his part, Myers thinks performing in the old movie cinema is a good alternative.
“It’s a beautiful, old historic building with a big chandelier and wall of action figures,” said Myers, who checked out the space earlier in the week. “Obviously the school was better set up for theatre, but [the cinema] is going to be great in its own way.”
Myers will spend the month touring Deck around the province, wrapping up with a special free show at Nelson’s Capitol Theatre on March 15, which he’ll be video recording. He’ll also have a free show of Hello Baby at the Capitol on March 22, which will also be recorded. Then he’ll be back on the road with a Kootenay tour of Cromoli 4 Supreme Leader.