A high school production of the musical “Legally Blonde” in Ohio has been deemed by administrators to be inappropriate for its audiences, resulting in the apparent dismissal of a drama teacher.
A report from station WLWT in Cincinnati said that Sonja Hansen, a drama teacher at Loveland High School, has been forced to resign following the staging of the musical show. Hansen told the station that she was asked to resign or she would be fired.
The dispute centers on the school’s production of “Legally Blonde,” the musical based on the popular Reese Witherspoon movie. The musical opened on Broadway 2007 and has since been widely produced in local theaters around the country and abroad.
“High schools are doing the show; community theaters are doing the show,” Hansen told the station. She said that “there are no bad words in the music” for the production.
Hansen said that she received approval from the school to stage the musical. She said that rehearsals were open and the she didn’t hear any complaints.
It remains unclear which parts of the musical production proved objectionable to school administrators. The original movie was rated PG-13, while the Broadway stage production was appropriate for general audiences.
Musicals that tackle mature themes can sometimes prove problematic for high schools. One of the biggest controversies took place in 2009 in Orange County, when administrators at Corona del Mar High School pulled the plug on a student production of “Rent.”
The cancellation received national attention, leading the school to allow the production to continue as planned.