A production company responsible for a play depicting Jesus as a homosexual living in Texas in the 1950s has expressed worries about Catholic-inspired protests when a documentary about the controversial drama premieres at a San Francisco theater on April 29.
The film, Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption, is a documentary about the play Corpus Christi, which was first staged in New York in 1998, and since has toured across the U.S. and Europe, often greeted by protests from those who consider it blasphemous.
The documentary is scheduled to premiere at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 29. “A VIP Ticket includes a Pre-Show Gathering at 1:00pm with the Cast/Crew, songs from the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and the Choir from the Church of Uncommon Hope, a blessing from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Rev. Dr. Cindi Love of Soulforce, James Langteaux reading from his new book Gay Conversations with God and many more surprise guests!” says an entry on the film’s website.
While the documentary will be featured at the Castro Theatre, the play itself will be performed at other venues in San Francisco, including on April 28 at the Southside Theater at Fort Mason Center and on April 29 and 30 at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco.
The production company behind both the film and the play -- 108 Productions -- is apparently not sure what to expect, though based on earlier demonstrations in other cities appears wary of what might happen in San Francisco next weekend.
“A protest outside the April 29 event at the Castro could materialize, said officials with 108 Productions, which has staged its touring version of the play since 2006, although there is no indication yet of any organized response,” the homosexual newspaper Bay Area Reporter said in an April 19 story.
The story continued: “Surprisingly, now it seems our biggest group of protesters in our six-year history may show up in San Francisco, a city where we assumed we would be most protected from such attacks," said Nic Arnzen, the play's director and film's co-director/producer. "Luckily, we have found the city rallying around us as individuals and organizations come forward to stand in solidarity with us and our quest to spread the message of love and equality."
The Bay Area Reporter said the group America Needs Fatima has launched an online petition against the film, describing it and the play as "unspeakable blasphemy."
The newspaper said representatives from the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco “declined to speak” to its reporter.