US: Off-Broadway musical heads to South Carolina to protest ‘gay book’ funding cut

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A South Carolina college will protest lawmakers’ decisions to cut their funding over their stocking of a ‘gay book’, by hosting a performance of the Broadway musical based on it.

In February, lawmakers cut over $52,000 (£31,200) from the College of Charleston, due to ‘gay themed’ books stocked by the college.

One of the books in question was lesbian Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed autobiographical graphic novel, Fun Home, which was last year adapted into an award-winning Off-Broadway musical in New York.

In protest of the cuts, Bechdel and the cast have announced they will head to the college and stage two performances of the show next Monday.

Todd McNerney, chairman of the college’s Department of Theatre and Dance, told the Post and Courier it was “an incredible academic opportunity for our students and the chance for our community to see off-Broadway stars sing inventive and complex works from a popular musical fresh from the New York stage.”

Larry Grooms, one of the Republicans who backed the cut in funding, said the move to hold a gay-themed show was “not wise”.

He warned: “If lessons weren’t learned over there, the Senate may speak a little bit louder than the House. There would be a number of members in the Senate that would have a great interest in fixing the deficiencies at the College of Charleston.”