The Boston Globe‘s Geoff Edgers has done some reporting on the Mike Daisey walkout mentioned here on Saturday. It seems that, contrary to Daisey’s claims, there was no religious affiliation with the group. As Edgers reports (in a message received from Principal John Johnson of Norco High School):
It is a choir made up of 15-to-17 year-old students who were in town singing at a festival. As for the chaperone who poured water on Daisey’s notes… Johnson flat out apologizes. “I agree with Mike Daisey,” says Johnson. “With everything that’s going on in the world today, to have somebody come up on stage and take the water and pour it on his script was very inappropriate. I want to make this very clear, I apologize for that happening.”
Now by Johnson’s own admission, we still only have third-hand information to go upon here. But Johnson claims that Daisey’s show was intended as a theatrical experience for these kids and that Daisey’s ample use of “fuck” was one of the motivating factors behind the walkout. But if this is the case, I find it highly implausible that these kids have lived such sheltered lives that they haven’t heard profanity.
As for the man who poured water onto Daisey’s script, he was apparently one of the adult chaperones.
(Thanks, Geoff, for the update.)
[UPDATE: Mike Daisey offers an explanation on his blog:
The group responsible for the incident is from a public high school, though they identified themselves to me as a Christian group as they fled the theater–it’s barely audible on the YouTube clip, as an adult tells me they are a Christian group, then flees for the door, refusing to engage with me. Then in the lobby of the theater and on the phone to the box office they identified themselves again and again as a Christian group–I don’t know what that says about the division of church and state in Norco, California. As a group, the people in charge freely identified themselves as a Christian group, until reporters call and they remember they are from a public high school.
He’s also talked with the man who destroyed his outline.]