Metamorphosis displays conflicting sexual messages on stage Actors roleplay scenarios of unclear consent for students to analyze

In HACC News by Joshua Griffin

The Metamorphosis theatre company performed “What’s Going On?,” an interactive theatre experience highlighting the difficulties of sexual communication among younger adults in professional and educational professional and educational settings.Actors Christopher David Roche and Lauren Zerr portrayed “problem scenarios” many college students face for the first time in their adult lives.

Photo by Victoria Bostwick

Actors Christopher David Roche and Lauren Zerr, interacting on stage.

Scenarios involved two college-aged students, who were experiencing conflict with one another due to lack of communication and consumption of alcohol. These scenarios were moderated by Colleen Tillger which occurred at HACC’s Lancaster campus on Sept. 1, 2016. The event began with questions aimed at the audience as she encouraged them to raise concerns towards the actors. The crowd came to various conclusions witnessing the events that unfolded.

 

As the last scenario played out, audience members took notice to the actress Lauren Zerr as she casually removed her sweater in front of Christopher David Roche. The audience, would later remember this action during the discussion held after the scene. The vast difference in perception was evident when the audience discussed the event which led to a conflict in the skit. The common assumption over the female character removing her sweater was she was leading the male character on. Therefore, she was blamed for escalating the conflict.

The moderator, Colleen Tillger, called the audience out on their “slut shaming” and “victim-blaming” by explaining to them that one cannot assume that certain actions, such as removing a sweater due to heat, may imply a person is giving consent to further intimacy. She told the audience that communicating consent in a clear way is how confusion is avoided.

At the end, the audience held further discussion about their own biases and questions they may have were fully answered by the actors and the moderator.