Students will be learning about consent and sexual assault through theatre.
Owen Sound’s Sheatre is bringing its Far From the Heart production on an Ontario school tour. The theatre company says this play aims to talk about what sexual violence is and how to stop it. This production has been funded by the Ontario Arts Council for the past three years because it educates teens on the different forms of pressure and violence in dating relationships and explores the issues that lie beneath the behaviour. Sheatre says this play is geared towards teens 13 and up.
Artistic Director Joan Chandler says this play is a little different because it is interactive. “We present the problems and then we come back and revisit some of the decisions that happened and invite the audience to stop the action, come up on stage, take the place of a character and try out a different kind of approach that might change the situation for the better.”
Chandler says this is a very heavy topic for the audience, so the production has teamed up with local organizations and school councillors. She says that after each show, there will be a discussion on what the students witnessed and learned. Chandler says this is to ensure that everyone gets to further the conversation if they need to.
“The purpose of the production is to open the conversations and answer the questions that kids have. To start that conversation going so that we can ultimately contribute to efforts to stop sexual violence and harassment.”
The play will be coming to Timmins on Thursday at the Timmins Native Friendship Centre.