The team behind Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton is keeping its options open about how to handle an unauthorized production of their Broadway play by a church in Texas.
“We have reserved all of our rights and are considering how to proceed based upon what we’ve learned,” the spokesperson told CNN in a statement late Monday (August 8). “The Hamilton family stands for tolerance, compassion, inclusivity, and certainly LGBTQ+ rights. We are in the process of reviewing the unauthorized changes made to the script to determine further action.”
The Door, a church in McAllen, Texas, performed its own version of Hamilton on August 5 and 6. Changes were made to the lyrics to include biblical references. The Friday evening performance was followed by a sermon by associate pastor Victor Lopez who categorized homosexuality as an addiction.
“Maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs, homosexuality,” he said. “Maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, relationships – God can help you tonight.” Senior pastor Roman Gutierrez said his church is not anti-LGBTQ and that “everyone is always welcome.”
A lawyer representing the Hamilton team sent a cease and desist letter to the church and asked them to remove all video content online. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Hamilton team gave the church permission to perform the final show on Saturday as long as photos and video of the play were not taken, and the church agreed to not hold any more productions. However, the team said when they allowed this, they were not aware “of the extensive changes to the show or that there would be a sermon at the end.”
On Sunday (August 7), Gutierrez stood in front of his congregation and thanked the Hamilton team for “giving us the license to perform our version of Hamilton.”
The Hamilton spokesperson said that the production “does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church.”
The spokesperson added that they would be “discussing this matter with the parties behind this unauthorized production within the coming days once all facts are properly vetted” and thanked their “devoted fans for bringing this to our attention.”