That letter was sent to the governor’s office and all members of the state Legislature, among others. They said the play, which is a satirical look at “Adam and Steve” in the Garden of Eden, violates Oklahoma’s obscenity laws. The pastors wanted the play closed and the producers and actors held accountable by law enforcement. Protestors held a small prayer vigil in front of Civic Center Music Hall on the play’s opening night, while the play’s supporters held a peaceful counter-demonstration.
“I was pleasantly surprised at how many people braved the weather to come out and support the show,” Irick said. “We had full houses all three performances on the first weekend, and the audiences seemed to have an excellent time.”
The anonymous donation prompted the theater company to launch Campaign 74.
“We are asking people to make a tax-deductible donation of $74 to the OKC Theatre Company before the end of the year,” Irick said. “We will make sure the governor’s and mayor’s offices hear a report on how much was raised, as well as sending local reviews and audience feedback from those who actually saw the show.”
The $7,400 donation is the largest she has received from an individual since taking over as artistic director three years ago, Irick said.
“We are so fortunate to have individuals like this who believe in us. We also had another anonymous donation of $2,500 from an Oklahoma native who now lives out of state. So we have met and surpassed our fund-raising goals for Most Fabulous Story,” Irick said.
The donations will help the company pay rental fees for the small, 88-seat theater space in the basement of the Civic Center, as well as licensing and other costs associated with the production.
Irick received hundreds of emails since her email address was made public in a national email blast on Dec. 1.
“I received about two emails a minute for three hours before it finally slowed down,” Irick said. “The tone of these was extremely aggressive, often attacking me personally as a bigot and sometimes even contained offensively sexual content. I mostly tried to ignore them and instead focus on the encouraging local feedback.
“Overall, the protest turned out to be helpful for us in that it made us consider more deeply how to clarify and reveal the play’s message artistically. Ultimately, the message is one of love and acceptance. When people are shouting questions and demanding answers, it forces you to delve deeper. And for artists, that is always a good thing.”
The “sinful” production takes place behind these doors through Dec. 22.