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September 24, 2018

New play about rape case part of U-M sexual-assault prevention campaign

September 17, 2014

New play about rape case part of U-M sexual-assault prevention campaign

The University of Michigan has launched a major sexual assault prevention campaign in conjunction with the premiere of a play that marks the first commissioned work for the Big Ten Theatre Consortium's New Play Initiative.

"Good Kids," a new drama by Naomi Iizuka, serves as the centerpiece of an orchestrated U-M campus and community outreach campaign called Expect Respect: Flip the Script, one of several new initiatives added to the university's extensive ongoing sexual assault prevention efforts in the current academic year.

Post-performance guided discussions, bystander training, school performances, role-playing exercises, expert lectures and social media will be some of the tools used to generate awareness and conversations.

"Good Kids," directed by Gillian Eaton, assistant professor of theatre and drama, explores the very public aftermath of a sexual assault and its cover-up among students at a Midwest high school.

It will be performed by the School of Music, Theatre & Dance's Department of Theatre & Drama Oct. 2-5 and Oct. 9-12 in the Arthur Miller Theatre on North Campus. Tickets are available at the SMTD website.

 

"Good Kids" rehearsals are on an expedited schedule to prepare for the Theatre Department's first play of the school year.  Several cast members at a recent rehearsal included Daisy Bishop (center) and (from left):  Savannah Rounds, Rebecca Gordon, Tara Stallion, Emma Boyden, Brendan Alpiner, Blair Prince and Matthew Provenza. (Photo by Erica Gavan, SMTD)

Iizuka is the author of more than 25 plays, including "36 Views," "Strike-Slip," "Anon(ymous)," "At the Vanishing Point" and "Polaroid Stories."

In 2010, Big Ten theatre department chairs realized that although most of their students were women, the majority of parts were by and for men. During the next five years, the Big Ten Theatre Consortium's New Play Initiative will commission five plays to be written by rising American women playwrights with age-appropriate roles for college women.

The initiative, which includes plans to produce the plays at the consortium member universities, is the first program and collaboration of its kind. U-M is the first member of the consortium to produce "Good Kids."

U-M students are providing substantial momentum and leadership in the Expect Respect: Flip the Script initiative.

In addition to the entire cast and crew of "Good Kids," a cohort of student ambassadors will receive expert training by professionals from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center in bystander awareness and sexual assault prevention techniques. These trained students will fan out across campus to perform excerpts from the play and facilitate discussions about the issues it raises.

A website dedicated to the show and the Expect Respect: Flip the Script campaign will debut this month featuring an illustration by graphic novelist Phoebe Gloeckner, associate professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. She is known for "The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures" and for her graphic reporting on the murders of young women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Social media, including encouraging and posting student responses to "Good Kids," will play a major role in the outreach campaign, broadening the reach of its message and having a lasting impact once the production is over.

Also in October, as part of the Expect Respect: Flip the Script campaign, U-M will host Chris Kilmartin, author of "The Masculine Self" and an expert on gender and violence prevention. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Army on sexual assault and harassment prevention. His lecture, "Guy Fi: The Fictions that Shape Men's Lives," will take place Oct. 1-2 at the Rackham Amphitheatre.

In addition to the long-standing sexual violence prevention programming already in place, all incoming students this year will participate in bystander intervention training related to sexual assault and relationship violence prevention, and other possible situations of harm.

SAPAC — which works to promote healthy relationships, teaches nonviolence and equality and supports survivor healing — provides educational and supportive services for the U-M community related to sexual assault, intimate-partner violence, sexual harassment and stalking.

SAPAC Director Holly Rider-Milkovich recently spoke at a U.S. Senate subcommittee roundtable on campus sexual assault and was one of the negotiators for the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act of 2013.

Among the departments and offices involved in the U-M sexual assault campaign designed around the "Good Kids" production are: the Office of New Student Programs, Department of Women's Studies, Department of Athletics, Division of Student Life, Office of Institutional Equity, LSA Theme Semester, SAPAC, TeenVoice, Residential College, Office of Greek Life, Office of the Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion and Academic Affairs, and SafeHouse Center, a community-based service organization in Washtenaw County.

Last year, U-M introduced a new student sexual misconduct policy after extensive review of an interim procedure that went into effect in August 2011 in response to guidance from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

Editor's Note: This story corrects earlier information about the dates of Chris Kilmartin's lecture.

Comments

Stop Rape
on 9/22/14 at 10:04 pm

More like, in response to a federal investigation than "in response to guidance from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights."

amela martin
on 11/22/14 at 4:05 pm

it didnt help e at all

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