Billie Joe Armstrong Accuses High School of ‘Censorship’ After ‘American Idiot’ Cancellation
Bille Joe Armstrong has accused a Connecticut high school administration of censorship after the principal and drama club director canceled a student production of Green Day’s rock opera American Idiot.
Auditions for American Idiot were posted before Enfield High School’s administration approved the production. Drama club director Nate Ferreira and Enfield’s principal later decided to cancel the play citing profanity, drug use and sex in the script and coinciding concerns from parents.
“It was a decision that the principal and I arrived at together because there were some kids in the group whose parents didn’t want them involved,” Ferreira told the Hartford Courant.
Armstrong has since responded to the high school’s decision in a letter addressed to the school board. The Green Day frontman argues there is a modified version of the script that would make it more suitable for high school students and calls the production’s cancelation an “issue of censorship”:
Dear Enfield high school board, it has come to my attention that you cancelled your high school theater production of American Idiot. I realize the content of the Broadway production of AI is not quite ‘suitable’ for a younger audience. However there is a high school rendition of the production and I believe that’s the one Enfield was planning to perform which is suitable for most people. It would be a shame if these high schoolers were shut down over some of the content that may be challenging for some of the audience. But the bigger issue is censorship. This production tackles issues in a post 9/11 world and I believe the kids should be heard. And most of all be creative in telling a story about our history.
Ferreira noted it wasn’t the school board’s decision to cancel the play: “I know that Mr. Armstrong posted something in support of our intention to do the show but in fact it wasn’t the school board as he thinks that forced us not to do the show.”
Green Day released their American Idiot concept album in 2004. It was adapted for the stage in 2009.