ENFIELD — A decision by officials at a Connecticut high school to drop a student production of the Green Day rock opera "American Idiot" drew an online rebuke from the band's frontman.
After Enfield High School announced that it was changing its spring musical from "American Idiot" to "Little Shot of Horrors," Green Day's frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong, sent an open letter to the school board on Instagram, even though the board did not make the decision.
dear Enfield high school board, #enfieldhighschoolmusical #highschoolidiot #enfieldidiot It has come to my attention that you cancelled your high school theater production of American Idiot. I realize the content of the Broadway production of AI is not quite "suitable" for a younger audience. However there is a high school rendition of the production and I believe that's the one Enfield was planning to perform which is suitable for most people. it would be a shame if these high schoolers were shut down over some of the content that may be challenging for some of the audience. but the bigger issue is censorship. this production tackles issues in a post 9/11 world and I believe the kids should be heard. and most of all be creative in telling a story about our history. I hope you reconsider and allow them to create an amazing night of theater! as they say on Broadway .. "the show must go on!" rage and love Billie Joe Armstrong ps. I love that your school is called "Raiders"
Enfield High School's drama club posted fliers at the school announcing auditions, several drama club students didn't want to be involved because of the graphic and explicit material.
But drama club director Nate Ferreira says he and the school's principal decided to drop "American Idiot" not as a form of censorship, but because participation was going to be low.
"This was never about censorship, it was about participation, our goal is to get kids to participate," Dr. Jeffrey Schumann, the superintendent of schools, said.
But Armstrong disagrees. He noted there is a high school version of the production and said "the bigger issue is censorship."
By Tuesday, Armstrong's Instagram post had more than 55,000 likes.
When asked about Armstrong's Instagram post, drama club member Bethany Bleakney laughed, "I was just like oh wow, people pay attention to us?"
With additional reporting by the Associated Press.