Free-speech group wants play to go on

Times Colonist - - Arts -

BOS­TON — Free-speech ad­vo­cates are urg­ing Bran­deis Univer­sity to re­con­sider its can­cel­la­tion of a stage play about the late co­me­dian Lenny Bruce.

The Bos­ton-area school says it will no longer stage a pre­mière of the play Buyer Be­ware af­ter some stu­dents and alumni al­leged that the play con­tains racist lan­guage and themes.

But the non-profit group Foun­da­tion for In­di­vid­ual Rights in Ed­u­ca­tion says the de­ci­sion should be re­versed and wants an ex­pla­na­tion from the school.

An open let­ter from the Philadel­phia-based group says Bran­deis should de­fend the freespeech prin­ci­ples that Bruce fought for. It was also signed by Bruce’s daugh­ter, Kitty.

Bruce was known for his pro­fan­ity-laced rou­tines that sparked sev­eral ar­rests for ob­scen­ity in the 1960s. An ar­chive of his work is housed at Bran­deis. —

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