NEA Play Draws League Protest
The play, Nine, which has been playing this fall at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, contains several scenes that offend Catholics. Nuns, in particular, are treated in an insulting fashion. The Playhouse, a State Theatre of New Jersey, receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and lists New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman as the Honorary Chairperson of the Playhouse’s Board of Trustees.
In a letter of protest to Angelo Del Rossi, the executive producer of Nine, and to New Jersey Governor Whitman, Catholic League president William Donohue directed his objections to the portrayal of a nun, Sarraghina. According to the script, Sarraghina is transformed into “a voluptuous whore.” The statements that are made about her and about St. Sebastian, as well as Catholics in general, show a disposition to ridicule Catholicism.
The League centered its objec- tions on the government-funded nature of the play.