Ohio's Loveland High School drama director SONJA HANSEN has officially resigned after putting on a production of Legally Blonde, Cincinnati.com reports. After "undisclosed complaints" were submitted about the adult themes and dialogue featured in Legally Blonde, as well as a prior production of the musical Grease, Hansen faced pressure to resign or be fired.
The school Superintendent John Marschhausen apologized for the way the situation was handled and confirmed that some of the school's administrators had previously approved the script before they changed their minds.
"Procedures were not in place for the proper articulation of expectations and goals for the Drama Department," Marschhausen said. "There was a breakdown internally in communicating this, which resulted in the circulating of misinformation, which is unfortunate for our district, our students and Mrs. Hansen."
Read the full report here.
The school district said the decision was mutual and involved more than just the productions in question--the expansion of the high school's drama program to include fare beyond musicals.
Loveland's production of Legally Blonde featured more than 300 students and sold more than 5,000 tickets. The show is one of the most popular produced in schools this year, according to Julie Woffington, executive director of Educational Theatre Association in Mount Auburn, who said around 400 schools (including a few in Ohio) have been licensed to put on the musical.
This is the first time a high school production of Legally Blonde has resulted in a resignation.
Legally Blonde had a successful Broadway run for two years, beginning in 2007, and ran for three years in London's West End, where it won the Best New Musical Olivier Award. The story follows Elle Woods, who decides to follow her ex-boyfriend Warner to Harvard Law School to win him back and discovers much more about herself in the process. Legally Blonde was created by a world-class creative team, led by Tony Award-winning director and Olivier Award-nominated Broadway choreographer/director Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray).