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‘Amendment One’ musical, written by UNC student, to be staged in Carrboro

N.C. Amendment 1: The Musical is written by Rachel Kaplan with music by Mike Griggs. The musical will be performed at the Carborro Century Center this Sunday, January 29th at 5:00. Kaplan says that the musical is about "Politicians who introduce a proposed amendment to the NC Constitution. Citizens convince them it's a bad idea and decide to vote against the Amendment on May 8th, 2012." Rachel Kaplan, Julie Saracino, John Michael Watkins, Ben Elling

Many in Orange County have voiced their opposition to a measure that would define marriage between one man and one woman as the only domestic union recognized in North Carolina — and UNC sophomore Rachel Kaplan wrote a musical about it.

“N.C. Amendment One: The Musical!,” which Kaplan wrote and produced to encourage N.C. residents to vote down the measure, will be performed Sunday at Carrboro Century Center.

Amendment One would define marriage between one man and one woman as the only domestic union recognized by the state.

The legislation is ratified by the N.C. General Assembly and will be up for popular “yes” or “no” vote during the May 8 primary elections.

Kaplan’s work will be performed as part of Orange County Human Relations Month Forum 2012, which is themed “Defining Marriage in North Carolina by Constitutional Amendment: What are the Implications?”

Ben Elling, a UNC sophomore who portrays George Washington in the performance, said using a theatrical format captures people’s attention and opens the door for interesting discussion on the topic.

“It’s such a unique way to protest the amendment and get the campus involved,” he said.

Kaplan said her play was inspired by “Prop 8: The Musical,” a video created in 2008 by a group of professionals and celebrities to oppose California’s Proposition 8, which aimed to ban gay marriage in the state.

After writing the play, Kaplan said she started looking for people to help develop the concept.

“I wrote the words and then I sent them to a friend who wrote the music. I have a friend who’s a dancer who helped me with the choreography,” she said.

Following the performance, a panel discussion will be held. Panelists include Maxine Eichner, a law professor at UNC; Brett Webb-Mitchell, an ordained minister and visiting associate professor of English and mass communication at N.C. Central University; and Stuart Campbell, executive director of Equality North Carolina.

Legislators who support the bill have said that putting the measure to referendum will allow voters to decide on it for themselves.

Supporters have also said that if passed, the amendment would protect traditional marriage.

But Danny DePuy, assistant director of UNC’s LGBTQ Center, said the amendment’s broad language would have implications beyond the LGBTQ community.

The performance is not the first act of opposition in Orange County this week. On Tuesday, county commissioners adopted a resolution opposing the amendment, stating the measure clashes with its goal of social justice.

Kaplan said Amendment One is a human rights issue that the community should not ignore.

“This is moving in the wrong direction,” Kaplan said.

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