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‘Corpus Christi’ canceled

Religious controversy nixes production

NEW YORK — Manhattan Theater Club has dropped plans to produce Terrence McNally’s new play, “Corpus Christi.” The move came after a news report in early May that a source present at a reading of the new work claimed it features a gay Christ figure who has sex, albeit offstage, with his apostles.

Manhattan Theater Club said on May 9 it “had no plans to withdraw the project,” despite protests from Catholic and other religious groups. But on Thursday, the MTC and McNally issued a joint press release stating MTC would not produce the play “because of security problems that have arisen around the production” and that as a result MTC is “unable to mount this production responsibly.”

Manhattan Theater Club is a subscription-based nonprofit company and as such has been a past recipient of NEA funding. MTC had planned to produce the play in the fall.

McNally is a three-time Tony Award-winner who has written frequently about gay life, most notably in “Love! Valour! Compassion!”