FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2016
Contact: Paula Sophia
Primary Chair – VisAbiliTy
firstname.lastname@example.org | (405) 203-3789
Secondary Contact: Troy Stevenson
Executive Director – Freedom Oklahoma
email@example.com | (405) 802-8229
Oklahoma City – After Oklahoma State University shut down a student theatre production late last year, for including transgender content, VisAbiliTy – a transgender advocacy organization – will host Fluid, a spoken word event, at Sauced in Oklahoma City’s Paseo District, this Saturday evening at 7 PM to support the students involved and to allow them to showcase parts of the production shut down by university officials.
This past fall an OSU theatre class was developing a play based on “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, which raised questions about gender roles and relationships in society. However, according Professor Jodi Jinks, administration officials came to her and said they felt the play was in bad taste and the subject would offend “our patrons and donors.” At this point, Jinks said the department head had only seen rough drafts of a couple of scenes.
Jodi Jinks, the Mary Lou Lemon Endowed Professor for Underrepresented Voices, expressed concern about the message the theatre department was sending to the students, “How do you trust your vision or your voice if you’re worried about being censored? Art comforts, but it also provokes.”
After reports from the Gayly and the Ocolly public attention was brought to the cancellation of the play – which appeared to be based on bias toward the transgender content – members of VisAbiliTy began planning Fluid to support the students involved.
When Paula Sophia heard about the controversy, she reached out to Professor Jinks. “I wanted to see if we could move the show to a more hospitable environment,” she said. “It’s important to give voice to a community that has been mostly silent in Oklahoma.”
On Saturday evening Professor Jinks, several of her students, and some community members recruited by Paula Sophia will perform a host of pieces representing a spectrum of experience. Among the guests is Lauren Zuniga, an accomplished spoken word artist and a former activist in residence at the University of Oklahoma.
Fluid, A Spoken Word Event
Saturday, April 16 – 7 PM
Sauced on Paseo Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103