Complaints about a love scene and objectionable language forced students and their advisor to rewrite parts of the spring production last weekend at Nation Ford High School.
The production of "Pippin" was changed after school officials received about a half-dozen complaints following the first performance, last Thursday night.
"We received some concerns about the show and some of the content," said Marty McGinn, assistant superintendent of curriculum and human resources in Fort Mill. "It was enough of a concern that we felt like we could at least look at it."
McGinn said the district office fielded five or six complaints Friday but added, "We had just as many calls saying that it was not offensive."
McGinn said the play, about a young man wrestling with subjects such as teen sexuality and suicide, also received some complaints because it did not follow the typical spring production format -- of a family-themed play.
"We asked the director to revisit those scenes that were of concern, and she did," McGinn said of Nation Ford High teacher Cheri Addison. "They toned it down a bit."
As for profanity, McGinn said, "We asked them to tone down any bad words that were in it. There weren't many."
McGinn said use of the word "fornication" also caused some complaints. She said "fornication" was not in the play when she attended Friday.
Beverley Bowman, principal at Nation Ford, said some parents "didn't like that bedroom scene. They thought it was too over the top.
"This is the first time we didn't do a children's production -- a production geared toward children's stories."
She said she was happy that the school instead did a production aimed at teens. One of those issues, suicide, touched home for Bowman.
"We've had two suicides (at Nation Ford)," she said. "Those suicides were based on students who were struggling with issues in their lives. It was serious stuff that they had issues with."
Student E.B. Hinnant, who played Pippin, said he was not happy being forced to make changes in the love scene between him and a character named Catherine.
"We had rehearsed that scene," he said. "I didn't find any of it controversial. We had put it in a tasteful way."
Student Kendal Hobbs, who played Catherine, added, "It was extremely obvious that we were dressed. When we came up (from under the sheets) the second time, we made it very visual that we were dressed."
The altered script eliminated the part where students got under the sheets. Instead, they walked behind a banner.
McGinn said Addison's job is not in jeopardy.
"Absolutely not," she said. "From everything I can see, she's an outstanding teacher."