The Saturday show went on for (FNL), Columbia High School's comedy sketch club, though the performance was first cancelled by school officials, then moved to the . Still, confusion lingers. The performance is the subject of a lengthy MaplewoodOnline thread, and considerable social media speculation on the part of students.
FNL is a performance group based on Saturday Night Live sketch comedy, explained Grace Gifford, who graduated from CHS in 2011. Gifford, a FNL member, was , and described the group and its activities. The group meets throughout the year to write a series of sketches that become the annual June performance. In recent years, the June performance has taken place in the Black Box Theatre at CHS; shows generally sell out.
The sketches spoof life at Columbia High School and beyond, Gifford explained in 2010, poking fun at well-known students, teachers, and administrators. Members of the group are regulars at CHS in Action Night.
This year, some school adults and students felt the comedy went too far, according to a student who contacted Patch. Students present at a performance earlier this week believe that an adult district employee asked a student to videotape a sketch that may have parodied her. According to three reports from those present, when that student began videotaping, despite requests from the troupe not to photograph or tape the performance, the student was asked to leave. However, this report has not been confirmed by authorities, and the identity of the adult was not released to Patch.
Others felt it was the content of the show that caused officials to act. A junior at CHS tells Patch, "The shows were just very raunchy and innappropriate, their jokes were aimed mostly at homosexuals but they had a few jokes aimed towards Africans or people of African descent." She continues, "I think students were truly angered just because the show was so innappropriate."
After performances earlier in the week, school officials told the group, which has two faculty advisors, that the final (Saturday) performance would be cancelled. The group was able to obtain space at the Maplewood Tennis Club, where, explains a parent who was present, the venue sold out, with standing-room only.
The district has not yet made a formal statement on the incident.
Patch will continue to follow this story.