University (Reluctantly) Saves High School Play

March 4, 2009

Eastern Oregon University will end up as the home of a play banned at a local high school -- but administrators at the university administrators aren't boasting about their involvement. The La Grande Observer reported that the La Grande school district banned the play -- Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile -- for "adult content." (That makes the play sound pornographic, but Library Journal described the play this way: "The present work is his first full-length play and has enjoyed commercial success in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. It depicts an imaginary meeting of Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein in 1904 Paris, exploring the impact of art and science on our rapidly changing society. A surprise visit by Elvis adds some satiric commentary from a late-20th-century perspective.") Last week, Eastern Oregon officials declined to let the high school's production of the play be produced at the university, saying that the decision of the local school district should be respected. But a professor and the university's College Democrats have stepped in and requested space to let the high school play be performed. And university officials said that they had no choice under Eastern Oregon rules but to grant the request.

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