William Woods University students are working on the second mainstage production of the year, a devised theatre drama, “#YesAllWomen/#NotAllMen.” Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3-5, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Dec. 5 in Dulany Auditorium.
Though it is not a “new” concept, devised theatre is the latest big thing in college theatre. Devised theatre starts with an idea, an image, a song, etc., around which a group researches, creates, rehearses and performs a piece.
This production will center around the Twitter feed #YesAllWomen, a discussion about sexual harassment, rape culture and the idea that culturally we accept as normal that women are not safe to walk the streets. #NotAllMen was a response to #YesAllWomen, and argues that not all men are the enemy and we need men as allies.
The hastags originated from an event in May, 2014, when a man in Isla Vista, California, killed six people and injured 14 others before committing suicide. The killer said he wanted to punish women for rejecting him.
A Twitter campaign ensued, speaking to the idea that #YesAllWomen experience gender inequality and fear sexually-motivated violence against them. Only four days after the attack, 1.2 million tweets were added to the hashtag, almost all of them from women relating stories about what they face every day. The hashtag #NotAllMen was an effort to keep the conversation neutral toward men in general.
“YesAllWomen #NotAllMen is a chance for us to be challenged to think about the very serious social issues regarding women and men we face and ally ourselves to positive solutions,” Joe Potter, artistic director of theatre, said. “Theatre has always been a platform for social change and this script will give our students a creative way to have their voices heard.”
Cast members are Chandler Bramstedt, Olivia Davidson, Sam DeBrodie, Laura Liebhart, Zach Likens, Caitlyn Ney, Brandi Traylor, Koriie VanWinkle, Joella Vermeire, and Melissa D. Williams.
Members of the crew are Jessica Fleeman, assistant director/stage manager; Devin Koch, sound board operator; Bria Plato, light board operator; TJ Pyatt, house manager; and Jessie Trapp, projections operator.
All cast and crew members, except Koch, were involved in research and writing.
Ticket prices for “#YesAllWomen/#NotAllMen.” are $7 for students, faculty and staff; $10 for adults; and $6 for seniors, (62+). The box office is now open. Call 573-592-4267 or go to showtix4u.com to purchase tickets. Due to the subject matter, the production is recommended for mature audiences only.