This could be the most important piece I have EVER written. As the narrative slowly unraveled over two plus weeks of interviews, research and consultations, I was amazed to find a story I could not have imagined in almost 37 years of life, almost 20 years of covering arts & entertainment around the country, and as a person whose HIV has lived with him for almost 13 years. One last thought: If this is happening in the 'Athens of the South', how much worse is it in less fortunate places? How much worse is it in your own back yard? This story is proudly dedicated to every person who has gone before me and struggled to make the voice of education heard over the fray and to all you who are still here and are yet to come. This is why we fight.
Here's the story, via NowHear This!
After a grueling production schedule including numerous casting delays, alleged vandalism and an impromptu cast walk-out protesting changes to the script, Nashville Dinner Theatre’s current production of the Broadway hit musical Rent has hit yet another violation. Nashville CARES, Middle Tennessee’s high profile non-profit HIV & AIDS support organization has removed the venue from their official Dining Out for Life list of participating restaurants after allegations that the show’s Co-director and theatre owner Kaine Riggan supposedly dismissed actor Byron Rice (who is HIV+) from the show due to his HIV status.
Read the rest.