Rose Festival homophobes attempt to cancel Circus Project's 'Duende'

Jennifer Cohen of the Circus Project

The Circus Project seems like a great organization. A non-profit which utilizes the unique power of art to transcend social barriers and inspire personal transformation, they put on  world-class aerial performances and provide expert training, all the while funding outreach to homeless and at-risk youth in the Portland metro area.

But it seems, despite prior approval (which I don’t personally think is necessary) The Rose Festival coordinators threatened to cancel Duende,” after audiences complained about a kiss between two women. While the show does go on the times have been changed in order not to ruffle the feathers of “family friendly” audiences.

So please take a moment to read this letter and show your support in any way you see fit, be it attending a show, writing to the Rose Fest or otherwise taking up space as a big ol’ gaymo in this town.

Dearest Friends,

I’m writing to ask for your support at the Rose Festival over the next two weekends. This past weekend was the opening of the Circus Project’s new show, “Duende”. Although most people who saw the show had rave reviews, the Rose Festival received five complaints after one show about a scene in which two women kiss. In response, they asked me to cut that scene. When I refused, they threatened to cancel the show. (I had told them before they signed our contract that there was a scene with two women kissing which they approved) After much negotiation and thanks to some friends who immediately called to protest and help spread the word on Facebook, we were tentatively reinstated, though our show times have been changed so as not to offend the “family audiences” earlier in the day.

Please friends, if you’re available this weekend or next, come on out to the show. We could really use supportive faces in the audience. This coming weekend, the navy will arrive, which could potentially add to the tension.

Our stage is located in waterfront village, just off of Morrison. It costs $5 to get into the village. Because it’s an outdoor show, we do have to cancel if it’s raining (anything more then a light drizzle). Our new showtimes (weather permitting) are:

Fridays: 6pm & 9pm
Saturdays: 6pm & 9pm
Sundays: 6pm

Please come show your support and let the Rose Festival know if you enjoy the show!

Thanks so much Friends.

With love, Jenn

3 comments to Rose Festival homophobes attempt to cancel Circus Project’s ‘Duende’

  • Debra P

    I don’t remember who said it, but someone at last night’s town hall at the Q Center mentioned that there will soon be some talks between the Rose Festival and other organizations (including I think, the police) about things like this because it appears to be pretty regular-including the attracting of people to town who spur on attacks and assualts.

  • Becca R.

    This is ridiculous. If it were a man and a woman kissing, would there still be complaints? I think this situation might be unconstitutional. It’s a shame that an organization that does so much good is being targeted. As for hate crimes, are we going to let fear dictate the way we live our lives? Backing down would give power to the ignorant and would be a step backwards for gay rights. My daughter is a musician in the show. We are straight and proud to support Duende!

  • […] was much more upsetting to witness the Rose Festival quash a chaste kiss in the Circus Project’s Duende, nearly forcing the performance to be canceled. There was nearly as much kerfuffle internally in […]