School Closes Curtain on Production of ‘Avenue Q’

DANVILLE -- A school in Montour County has closed the curtains on a musical before the production even opened. The district says the reason is because the show is not suitable for all ages.

The cast list was out. Johanna Kratzer and her friends were already practicing for their performance of the school edition of "Avenue Q" at Danville Area High School.

"I was going to do it. I was going to help out with crew here and there," said Johanna Kratzer.

The Tony award-winning musical set in New York City tells the story of a recent college graduate and the people he meets where he lives on Avenue Q.

"It's got all of these people that are a little more than meets the eye,” said Kratzer.

"It's a little bit risqué. It's definitely adult themed, yes,” said Mike Trelease.

"There are still some things in the 'Avenue Q' school edition. I think PG-13 is the best way to describe it,” said Principal Chris Johns.

That's why Danville Area school administrators decided to cancel the performance.

"It's disappointing. It really is," said Kratzer.

Principal Chris Johns tells Newswatch 16 the former drama club adviser chose the show and cast it before getting approval from administration.

"Just didn't feel that the show was appropriate at this time for students of all ages, an audience of all ages," said Johns.

The school district is in the midst of a $14 million project which includes a new auditorium. It's part of the reason why they want to produce a show that everyone wants to see.

"I think it would have been alright if parents were willing to explain some of the concepts to the children in the musical,” said Kratzer.

"Everything in the show is what happens in the world outside of a public school. It's a production we would consider in the future, I say at this time,” said Johns.

Administrators say because the school chose to cancel the performance of "Avenue Q," the drama club adviser quit. Danville Area High School still plans to stage a musical in April. Administrators hope to decide on one with the help of the students by the end of this week.

6 comments

  • JessicaInWilliamsport

    Everyone wants to whine about political correctness, but when it comes to stuff like this it seems that’s when the biggest crybabies come out. Rather than letting it go on, and engaging in constructive discussion about issues raised (sounds like a learning opportunity to me!) they want to smother it/ban it. What are they afraid of?

  • Olivia

    As someone from the Drama Club at Danville, this did more bad than good. The school board and administration might believe that there is a 100% clean an appropriate show out there that everyone will be pleased about, and will showcase our talent pool at Danville, but no show is 100% clean. The best Broadway shows (like Avenue Q) are based on controversy and what’s going on in the world. In the end, all this decision did was waste our precious time, and make our beloved drama adviser resign

  • Olivia

    As someone from the Drama Club at Danville, this did more bad than good. The school board and administration might believe that there is a 100% clean an appropriate show out there that everyone will be pleased about, and will showcase our talent pool at Danville, but no show is 100% clean. The best Broadway shows (like Avenue Q) are based on controversy and what’s going on in the world. In the end, all this decision did was waste our precious time, and make our beloved drama adviser.

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