Bianca Washington says theater should help encourage conversations, even if they are uncomfortable. Washington, guest artist and visiting faculty member at Kalamazoo College is directing a production of the play Student Body at the Festival Playhouse of K-College. Performances will be presented February 21st through the 24th.
Student Body written by Frank Winters centers on 10 college students who discover a video that contains evidence of a sexual assault. The students debate what responsibility they have, and whether taking the video to campus officials or the police will do any good.
Kalamazoo College Psychology major Jared Pittman, who plays Malcom, says students should leave the show asking questions about what they can do to prevent sexual assault on campus. K-College freshman Grace Erway, who plays Liz in Student Body says the script is thought provoking. She says it should cause people to question what they would do if faced with the situation.
Since the play deals with video evidence it also raises questions about how much of our lives are recorded and shown to the public. Pittman says nothing is private anymore. He says anything can be recorded and become viral very quickly. Erway says privacy was a major theme in rehearsal. “How much of us participating in modern media is a revoking of our privacy and other people’s privacy?”
Director Bianca Washington says she hopes the play causes people to think, but not to blame or point fingers “How many conversations do we have like that, where the next day or the week after, we’ve still just been thinking about it, what we should have done?”