Sex Signals brings sex education to Brockport
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 11:09
Chicago-based Catharsis Productions came to Brockport this past Tuesday Sept. 18 and Wednesday Sept. 19 to perform “Sex Signals,” a show that was part improvisation, part scripted and meant to cover serious sexual issues in a light tone.
Only two actors, Chris Sanders and Deanna Myers, were present on stage. They started by introducing themselves and giving a brief overview of the show. They explained that the show would need audience participation.
While the idea of audience participation in a show about sex seemed a little unsettling at first, it ended up being enjoyable. They acted out two scenes: two students meeting at a club, followed by a party scene. Each scene included a pick-up line provided by the audience.
The actors asked the audience for it’s input throughout the club scene before deciding on a course of action. This was wildly successful in keeping the attention of the crowd and keeping the mood of the presentation light.
After the scene ended, the actors talked about it with the students. They discussed what had happened, and what some of the underlying themes were — including double standards and stereotypes.
From there, they asked the audience what characteristics made up the “typical” male or female. The next scene incorporated the comments made by students. That is, the guy tried to uphold all of the stereotypes about guys, and the girl tried to uphold all of the stereotypes about girls.
Before they started the scene, the actors told the audience to look under the seats for “STOP” signs. They instructed the students to hold up the signs when they thought the scene was going “too far.”
As they acted out the scene, the male embodied the role of a macho alpha male while the girl was very reserved and lady-like. The guy started to overpower the girl and a lot of students began raising their signs. Eventually, enough signs were raised that the actors stopped.
After stopping, they asked students why they had put their signs up. In a couple of cases, students were asked why they had put their signs down.
After that scene, the actors talked about the differences between fantasies and expectations.
The final scene was set up like a redemptive talk show. The guy was asked by the girl to defend himself about rape charges. She gave a brief listing of the “charges” before asking for the other side of the story.
He described a situation where he and the girl had gotten to know each other over the span of a few weeks, gotten together to study, drank some beers and ended up having sex.
This led to a very long discussion about rape. What constitutes as rape? Where can you get help if you or someone you know has been affected by rape or sexual assault? They brought up the topic of consent.
The actors not only discussed how consent was defined, but stressed how important it was for everyone to make sure they had their partner’s consent before engaging in sexual activity.
The wrap-up reviewed what had been covered throughout the show and a reminder that there were free condoms on the tables for students to take.
All in all, it was a good show. The audience’s attention was focused throughout the entire production and the topics that were covered made sense. While not much of the material was shocking or new information, it was good reinforcement nonetheless.