School Musical Decorations Produce Off-Stage Drama

May 1, 2015


Outside the Springfield High School Auditorium, signs supporting same-sex marriage were on display Tuesday, but removed on Thursday. Signs reflecting recent police shootings had been removed on Monday.
Credit Stella Cole


  Springfield High School has a long tradition of staging a big, elaborate musical every spring. This year’s production, "Hairspray," has taken on new meaning due to news events. Set in 1962, it's the story of a plump teenage girl who forces a televised dance show to diversify its cast. Springfield parents decorating the hallway outside the school auditorium to promote the musical made protest signs, similar to the ones used onstage, with a mix of slogans from the 1960s and from today's news. But within hours, school administrators removed the signs with slogans inspired by recent police shootings, and a few days later, took down the signs supporting same-sex marriage. 

Janna Schorfheide and the cast perform "You Can't Stop the Beat" in a dress rehearsal of "Hairspray" Wednesday at Springfield High School.
Credit Kari Bedford

In an email statement, Principal Mike Grossen said he wasn’t trying to censor students, but the slogans had not been pre-approved. 

Hairspray runs through this weekend only at Springfield High School, with performances Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.


Here's the full text of SHS Principal Mike Grossen's statement.