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After hate group protest, Seacoast Rep theater receives community support

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.

Julia Furukawa is the host of All Things Considered at NHPR. She joined the NHPR team in 2021 as a fellow producing ATC after working as a reporter and editor for The Paris News in Texas and a freelancer for KNKX Public Radio in Seattle.
Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered and Writers on a New England Stage at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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