A group of Christian pastors said they plan to host a prayer vigil outside the Civic Center Music Hall as a peaceful protest against a theatrical production with homosexual themes.
Wednesday, the Rev. Steve Kern, senior pastor of Olivet Baptist Church, said he has obtained a permit to host the prayer gathering on Dec. 6, the second night of the play called “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.”
The play, a production of the Oklahoma City Theatre Company, is set to open Dec. 5 in CitySpace, a theater in the Civic Center's basement. In the play, Adam and Steve meet in the Garden of Eden. The couple leave the Garden only to encounter lesbians Jane and Mabel, who insist they were Earth's original inhabitants.
Kern said he and several other local pastors obtained a copy of the play and they feel that it is an affront to the Bible because of its gay and lesbian characters and its inclusion of simulated oral and anal sex and bestiality.
“We feel like this play is an open display of intolerance, irreverence and disrespect for the faith of the majority of citizens of this city,” Kern said, referring to Christianity.
“We're just appalled. I mean, this thing is just over the top.”
He said they had been concerned that the play would also include full-frontal nudity but have learned that the Oklahoma City Theatre Company's production will not feature this aspect of Paul Rudnick's play.
Rachel Irick, the theater company's artistic director, said the company has had some email complaints about the play since a story first appeared about it in October in The Oklahoman. However, she said the theatrical company has not heard from Kern or state Rep. Dan Fisher, who shared his concerns about the production in The Oklahoman's Oct. 4 story. Fisher, R-Yukon, is senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon.
She said she is not surprised about the planned prayer vigil after having read the preachers' concerns in the October news story. She said the theater company chose not to feature nudity in the production after the company's leaders did not see any artistic reason to include it. Irick said nudity has been a part of previous Oklahoma City Theatre Company productions but they were presented in a heterosexual context.