Tarleton State's Gay Jesus Saga

05/29/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

As political theater goes, you couldn't ask for better elements of the main plotline: a small public college in the "Cowboy Capital of the World," the lieutenant governor of Texas in high dudgeon (though not entirely sticking to the facts), and a swarm of protest about a play featuring a gay Jesus. And just in time for Easter!

The whole thing began when John Jordan Otte, an openly gay 26-year old theater student at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, received his advanced directing course's midterm assignment: select, direct, and produce a one-act play of his choice. The end result, as fellow Tarleton student Kelsie Ray put it while anchoring a student-produced news program, was "one of the most controversial stories to hit Stephenville since the Klan rally in 2007."

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