‘Naked Boys’ banned from state-operated facility

Gay-popular musical told 'no' by SECCA, state officials

WINSTON-SALEM — The Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance’s production of the gay-popular musical “Naked Boys Singing” has been postponed after state officials with the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts (SECCA) told the company they could not produce the musical at SECCA’s performance venue.

According to Alliance organizers, SECCA and N.C. Department of Cultural Resources officials gave the group a flat “no” when they approached them with a request to house the performance. The State took operational control of the venue last year. It was established as a private, non-profit entity in 1956.

“Naked Boys Singing” was set to open later this year.

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Q-Notes contacted SECCA director Mark Richard Leach about the situation. He declined to comment and directed our questions to Mary Ann Friend of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources press office.

Friend confirmed to Q-Notes that SECCA would not host the production of “Naked Boys Singing.”

When asked why that decision was made, Friend said the performance was “not appropriate programming for a public museum.”

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Although, as the title makes clear, the show features nudity, past SECCA performances have also included nudity. In fact, before the state took over the facility, SECCA had a tradition of pushing the envelope with its stage productions.

Friend added that every division in the department sets its own policies and procedures. The decision in this case would have been made in accordance with those policies, she said.

Q-Notes attempted to get a copy of the policy guidelines that led to the department’s refusal, but follow-up calls to Friend were not returned by press time.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer is a staff writer for QNotes. He previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015.