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Controversial play back on at Herriman High School

HERRIMAN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A recent high school play in Herriman was canceled because it used Elvis Presley music that some consider offensive. Parents and students were understandably upset, but now that the show will go on.
HERRIMAN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A recent high school play in Herriman was canceled because it used Elvis Presley music that some consider offensive. Parents and students were understandably upset, but now that the show will go on.

At first the play is off, now it's on. From the outside looking in it may seem like the Jordan School District can't make up its mind, but what's happening is simple. Some people were upset about the play. The district didn't think it could make it work. But it finally found a way to do it.

Thursday the show is back on. It's Herriman High School's performance - “All Shook Up.” At first the Jordan School District cancelled the play because it got a complaint from someone concerned about the lyrics.

"We decided there were some changes that needed to be made in the script and possibility in some of the lyrics of some of the songs," said Sandy Riesgraf, Jordan School District Communications Director.

Upset students vented their frustration on Twitter. One tweet read. “The Jordan School District. First they ruin Christmas break and now the musical.” Another wrote – “Oh my gosh. Freaking. Could this day get any worse?”

But it wasn't until the district called the publisher for refund that it decided - the show could go on.

"When we called the publisher on a refund for our licensing fee, they were the ones who offered to us that it would be alright to make the changes that we wanted without being in violation of copyright law, we didn't know that was an option we had on the table," said Riesgraf.

The district now believes it can run a revised version of the play, and make everyone happy.

"This is a win-win for the students, drama department, and the school district," said Riesgraf.

One of the reasons it may seem like the school district made a kind of yo-yo decision was this play was chosen to run before the district made a stricter policy on controversial content, and no one took a second look at it until it was well into production.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson
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