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After hate group protest, Seacoast Rep theater receives community support

Honey Punch and Pals

The Portsmouth community has rallied in support of the Seacoast Repertory Theater in the past month in response to a recognized hate group showing up outside its family-friendly drag story hour.

After the story went viral on TikTok, financial contributions and support from local and global sources have poured in, along with messages of support.

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The live show, “Honey Punch and Pals,” features performer Jason Faria dressed as drag queen Honey Punch reading stories and making playful conversation with puppets.

Its theme song proclaims it's a space where “being yourself is always allowed,” and teaches lessons of acceptance and celebrating diversity.

The extremist group that protested outside the Rep in December has made themselves known in New Hampshire before. They claimed responsibility for racist and anti-Semitic graffiti in Nashua and targeted state representative Manny Espitia for speaking out against it. The hate group is one of several recognized in New Hampshire.

The Rep’s artistic director, Brandon James, spoke with All Things Considered host Peter Biello about the theater and community’s response to what happened.