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Schuylkill County News

Schuylkill County Theater Group Seeking Clarity from Diocese That Forced It to Cancel Drag Show

Actors say they want clarity from Diocese. Diocese says terms of sale were clear. Both open to talks.

Kelsey Theater, owned by Actors Guild of Schuylkill County, says the Allentown Diocese threatened legal action if it went ahead with an all ages drag show on Saturday.

The Actors Guild of Schuylkill County says it plans to get more clarity from the Diocese of Allentown regarding the terms of the sale of its property in St. Clair.

Earlier this week, Actors Guild of Schuylkill County decided to cancel an all-ages drag show scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24, at their theater located at 229 N. Mill St. in St. Clair.

The theater group purchased the shuddered church from the diocese back in 2019. It says the Diocese threatened it with legal action had the show gone on because the church felt it violated a “conveyance clause” in the terms of the sale.

However, terms of the sale were that it couldn’t be used for some functions. Apparently, hosting a drag show is one of them, the theater group says it learned this week.

“The Actors Guild of Schuylkill County was very upset to cancel the event at such a late notice. We have reached out to the diocese and we plan to communicate with them regarding the current restrictive covenants,” Actors Guild of Schuylkill County writes in a statement released to The Canary after our original post published on Friday morning. “We are also looking to obtain a more detailed interpretation of the restrictions as we did not feel that we were violating them for this event.”

The Diocese disagrees on the clarity of the terms of the sale. In response to our question whether restrictions placed on the 2019 sale of the former church were spelled out specifically, the church says, “The deed restrictions were clear.”

We also asked the Allentown Diocese whether the legal action the Actors Guild says was threatened against them was because the scheduled show was an “all-ages drag show” or if any drag show would have prompted a similar response.

The Diocese says, “The drag show, as well as the fact that it was open to all ages, go against the deed restrictions.”

Further, the church says, “If a bar or nightclub were attempting to open in one of our previously owned facilities, the Diocese would also enforce the deed restrictions that were agreed upon by the buyers when they purchased the building.”

The Diocese says it hopes to come to an understanding with the local theater group.

“We remain open to dialogue with the Actors Guild and hope they accept this offer of
collaboration to ensure that the terms of the agreement are met, and our values are respected,” they say.

Specific terms of the sale have not been made public.

Photo credit: Coal Region Canary

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. PTFloridian

    March 4, 2024 at 9:07 am

    If a signed contract was broken, it’s a broken covenant…game over. No need to micromanage the situation. All the parties involved understand that. The theater group needed to understand what they were agreeing to, and I’m sure they were advised by their attorney. The new folks violated the terms of agreement willingly and knowingly but obviously are bent on pushing the issue, like most do. They don’t do themselves any favors for their causes, whatever they may be, when they push and push and push…it just drives people further away.

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