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Alyssa Oltmanns, Muscatine Community College

From September 2020 to September 2020
Muscatine Community College (Public college or university)
Muscatine, Iowa, United States

Identity of Speakers

  • Alyssa Oltmanns
    Faculty/Staff
    Other

    Alyssa Oltmanns is a theater director and faculty member at Muscatine Community College.

Resources

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Other
  • Incident Responses:
    Other
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • No protest Occured
  • Did not involve Speech Codes

Summary

Alyssa Oltmanns is a theater director and faculty member at Muscatine Community College (MCC). Oltmanns proposed producing the play “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” through Zoom, with actors performing remotely and MCC selling “tickets” to access the virtual recording. However, on September 4, 2020, Oltmanns received an email from the dean of instruction, Jeremy Pickard, telling her to select another play. When Oltmanns asked Pickard why he would not approve the play, he wrote back on September 6: “Dog Sees God has not been approved due to the same concerns we discussed previously.” This apparently referred to the previous spring, when Pickard voiced concerns about the play. MCC President Naomi DeWinter sent Oltmanns an email on September 15 saying she made the decision to suspend the play because the campus is largely closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fact that MCC managed a virtual graduation and offers full virtual instruction. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education wrote to MCC on September 25 calling on administrators to “commit to abstaining from censorship in future productions.” Oltmanns subsequently produced the play as a community production.