ARTISTS IDENTIFY VIRGIN MARY AS WHORE

Catalyst April Issue 1999

During the first part of March, there were 12 performances of the play, “‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore,” at New York Performance Works, a downtown New York theater. The play was written by John Ford in 1633 during the English Renaissance. It has been called a “bloody revenge tragedy” that features incest, stabbing and poisoning. The play was produced by the Wide Sky Theatre Company in association with the New York Performance Alliance.

The postcard that was sent to prospective theater-goers advertising the play showed an illustration of the Virgin Mary with the Immaculate Heart; the inscription, “‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore,” was written across her. It was sent by the Actors Equity Association.

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows to the press over this matter:

“New York Performance Works told me that the play is not about Catholicism. Indeed, I was told that the decision to put an illustration of the Virgin Mary on the postcard advertising the play was ‘the personal choice’ of the New York Performance Works. Not surprisingly, their friends at Actors Equity disclaimed any responsibility for the advertisement.

“In the recently released Catholic League’s 1998 Report on Anti-Catholicism, I commented that ‘There is something perverse going on in the artistic community.’ What the New York Performance Works has now done adds to the legacy of anti-Catholicism that marks this community.

“The fact that this sick play is being shown in some dump for just a few weeks suggests that it isn’t worth getting too excited about. But the postcard illustration is worth noting: there is something about Our Blessed Mother that the depraved can’t stomach.”


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Written by Bill