That’s the story that’s floating around the internets. It’s too bad, really, because Rent is kind of the ideal high school show right now, as I’ve talked about in the past. But here’s what I keep getting hung up on in all the articles (bold emphasis mine):
Martin, she said, nixed the play Thursday after deciding there was “not enough time to revise to script,” even though the musical wasn’t set to begin until April 23 and even though the principal had not yet seen the script or requested any changes.
Ignore the typo in there, and here’s a second reference to what’s bothering me:
Martin, in an interview, told a much different version of events. Rehearsals hadn’t begun and scripts hadn’t been ordered, so getting a script for the principal would take almost two weeks, he said, and Asrani decided that would not leave enough time for revision and changes.
Maybe I’m just being a Dramatists Guild stickler here, but I’ll go ahead and quote the Dramatist’s Bill of Rights:
No one (e.g., directors, actors, dramaturgs) can make changes, alterations, and/or omissions to your script – including the text, title, and stage directions – without your consent. This is called “script approval.”
Teachers shouldn’t be revising anyone’s scripts anyway. The student version of Rent exists so that schools who have questions about the show’s content can do a more sanitized version. I don’t like people editing it down even further. It’s hard to argue that it’s going to damage the Rent property too much at this stage, but the precedent is not cool. And yes, I know this goes on all the time, but it bothers me immensely.