RADFORD, VA., FEB. 4 -- Fear of AIDS did not appear to be on playgoers' minds at a performance at Radford University by actors banned from city schools because they performed with AIDS patients in Miami last year.

About 300 parents and children laughed, giggled and slapped their thighs during a farcical play by the Cornerstone Theater Co. Wednesday in this Southwest Virginia town.

Cub Scout den mother Chris Crafford said she got "100 percent approval" from parents to bring boys from her den, along with three of her own children, to the play.

Crafford said most of the boys attend McHarg Elementary School. The McLean-based theater troupe was to have performed there and at Radford High School but was banned two weeks ago by Superintendent Michael Wright, who said he did not think the community would "support the use of school facilities by people who have worked with individuals who have AIDS."

Helen Dean, who brought her 6-year-old daughter and a Brownie troop to the Wednesday afternoon performance, said none of the parents of her troop members seemed concerned about the group's performance in Miami last year, when they appeared before AIDS patients, their friends and relatives.

Wright said he was concerned that none of the actors had been tested for AIDS after they were in Miami.

The ban drew criticism from the performance's local sponsors, parents and medical experts.

"What was so scary about it was the level to which it {fear of AIDS} has escalated," Cornerstone manager Gail Berrigan said.

"All the parents I talked to thought the ban was totally ridiculous," Dean said. "You can't breathe air and catch AIDS."

The AIDS virus is spread through contaminated hypodermic needles, intimate sexual contact or infected blood.