Back in 2010, Green Day shocked everyone with a Broadway production of the band’s hit seventh album, American Idiot. The show has since become one of the most beloved modern shows, unsurprisingly.
A Connecticut high school was slated to put on a production of the musical in early May, but the decision has since changed, and the school will not be performing the show.
Enfield’s drama club, the Lamplighters, began advertising auditions for the American Idiot production. However, their faculty director soon sent out a a general announcement to the school, which stated that the troupe will not put on the musical due to “a small number of extremely vocal people.”
In the statement, director Nate Ferreira stated, “Due to the mature content of the original production, I have been working with the publisher to modify the script, to ensure that it would be appropriate for a high school group to perform.
“This project was very successful, and we feel that the modified script and production notes maintain the integrity of the show, while removing profanity and the more adult scenarios in the original Broadway production. The publisher is even starting the process of turning our edited version of the script into their official ‘School Edition’ of the play, to allow other high schools to easily perform this play in the future.”
The compromise sounds awesome, but then the real bombshell is dropped:
“Unfortunately, a very small number of extremely vocal people have complained about our choice of production. This led to Mr. Longey [principal Andrew Longey] and I meeting on Friday to discuss a change in our choice of production. To be clear, Mr. Longey did not force us to change – he and I took a long and careful look at all aspects of the show, and all arguments on either side,” continues Ferreira. “At this late stage it is very difficult to switch to a different play, but I do feel that it is best for us to set aside American Idiot for the time being.”
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong called out Enfield High School on his Instagram. The post, which can be found HERE, reads:
“Dear Enfield high school board, #enfieldhighschoolmusical #highschoolidiot #enfieldidiot It has come to my attention that you cancelled your high school theater production of American Idiot. I realize the content of the Broadway production of AI is not quite “suitable” for a younger audience. However there is a high school rendition of the production and I believe that’s the one Enfield was planning to perform, which is suitable for most people. It would be a shame if these high schoolers were shut down over some of the content that may be challenging for some of the audience. but the bigger issue is censorship. This production tackles issues in a post 9/11 world and I believe the kids should be heard and most of all, be creative in telling a story about our history. I hope you reconsider and allow them to create an amazing night of theater! as they say on Broadway … “the show must go on!” rage and love Billie Joe Armstrong ps. I love that your school is called “Raiders”
The school district’s superintendent, Jeffrey Schumann, spoke to NBC Connecticut, and stated that the American Idiot production was “dividing our kids.”
In direct response to Armstrong’s message, Schumann says, “This is not a censorship issue. This is a participation issue. We chose to change our production so we can get maximum participation.”
In an almost ironic twist, the drama club will now reportedly perform Little Shop Of Horrors instead.