Controversial play catches Scientology's attention | Events
St. Petersburg, Florida -- A controversial holiday musical production is set to open at American Stage Theatre in St. Petersburg.
"A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant" is a musical play designed for the holiday season, but this play will not focus on Jesus Christ, but instead the story is about L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the church Of Scientology.
The story line follows L. Ron Hubbard through his life, his journey and search for answers. "It's about what he felt was important in life and obviously him starting up the church of Scientology."said, Stephen Ray, an actor that plays the role of Hubbard in the play.
The musical satire features characters of famous Scientologists like John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley and most of the dialogue comes from the writings of Hubbard and church literature.
"This show isn't meant to offend or harm anybody, it's really just done to show the art of the piece because we really believe strongly in the script and we thought it was important that people get to see the good art we produce." said, Andy Orrell, a spokesman for the American Stage Theater.
The theater is located less than a block away from a Scientology building in St. Pete and officials with the theatre reached out to the church and received feedback from several Scientologists who visit the theater.
"They basically said, if this was about the Muslim faith you wouldn't be doing it, and my feelings is, if it was stage worthy of course we would be doing it." Said, Todd Olson, the Director of the Musical.
Twenty productions of the musical are being produced around the country, but the American Stage Theater production is the first to be produced in Florida. "We know given Florida, given our proximity to Clearwater, given our Scientology neighbors are right across the park, we just can't anticipate everything that's about to happen." Olson said.
The Theater is hoping this holiday musical will be a big hit. We attempted to contact a Scientology spokesperson in Clearwater but no one returned our phone call.
The holiday musical is scheduled to run from December 9-22 at the American Stage Theater in St. Petersburg.