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New London theater group cancelled recent play because of racy content

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

NEW LONDON -- Concerned that questionable content could jeopardize the relationship with the New London-Spicer School District, board members of the Crow River Players cancelled one of this summer's plays on opening night.

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The eight-night run of "About Time" had been set to open July 7 at the Little Theatre in New London.

During a dress-rehearsal the night before, the board members were aware of language and the sexual nature of the content that they felt was not "suitable," said Ginny Lief, president of the volunteer community theater organization.

It was a "tough decision," said Lief. "We apologize for any inconvenience that we caused for our patrons."

Unlike most of the Little Crow Players' productions that involve community residents who practice at the small, renovated theater, the "About Time" cast and director were brought in from Glenwood, where they had practiced before the dress-rehearsal in New London.

After that preview, the board got together to review the content, Lief said.

Although the decision was not unanimous, Lief said the board agreed to cancel all the performances.

Written by Tom Cole, "About Time" features an elderly man and woman who discuss aging, food and sex while sitting around their kitchen table.

The Crow River Players share the Little Theatre with the NLS School District and students have been involved with energy-efficiency projects at the building, including installation of solar panels by the Youth Energy Summit team.

Because of that "good relationship" with the district, Lief said the board decided to be "held to a higher standard" and cancel the play rather than proceed with a production that was a "little bit braver" than their normal fare and possibly risk jeopardizing the relationship because of that.

"We feel good that we did," she said.

Because advance tickets were sold online, the board had telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of customers and "was scrambling" to contact them prior to the opening date. All the tickets were fully refunded.

Lief said the rest of the Little Theatre's summer events will go on as scheduled. The next production, "Darrow," runs Aug. 4-8.

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