by Alexandra Higl
Alexandra Higl is a college student studying journalism. This story appears through PatchU, a Patch program whose mission is to create opportunities for students to garner hands-on news experience.
Students, faculty, staff and administrators packed John Carroll University’s Kulas Auditorium on Feb. 21 to watch two actors from Catharsis Productions– an acting company based out of Chicago.
Although humor and improvisation comprised the performance, the show wasn’t meant for entertainment purposes alone. “Sex Signals,” an educational show, examines controversial issues such as stereotypic gender roles, double standards, social pressures, sexual assault, dating violence and rape – in a way to engage, inform and entertain.
In "Sex Signals" two Chicago-based actors from Catharsis Productions, Deanna Myers and Chris Sanders, used techniques such as scripted material, comedy, improvisation and audience interaction to show relationship scenarios: "the good, the bad and the ugly,” Sanders said.
The interactive format began lighthearted, asking the audience to contribute pick-up lines, then gradually moves towards more serious topics.
JCU students Samantha Hoch, Sean Whalen and Lisa Reichert booked Sex Signals as part of their senior project for the Arrupe Scholars Program – a scholarship program that focuses on service and social action. The event was also sponsored by JCU’s Residence Life, the Counseling Center and the Office of Student Activities.
When asked why the students decided to bring “Sex Signals” to the University, Samantha Hoch said, “I want our campus to learn about what is wrong about dating violence and sexual assault. [“Sex Signals”] may seem silly because everyone knows rape is wrong, but it still occurs, which makes me think that people cannot accurately define that line of when it is happening and when it is not.”
After the acting scenarios, Myers and Sanders stated facts about relationship violence. “Every two minutes, a woman is sexually assaulted or raped,” said Myers. “Statistically a small percentage of men assault women – but they do it seven or more times.”
Audience member, sophomore Betsy O’Brien, thought the show was both informative and memorable. “Sometimes it got awkward, but that’s what made conversation happen.”
“Sex Signals” will be returning to JCU’s campus in the fall to perform for the incoming freshman.
More information about sex signals can be found at http://www.catharsisproductions.com/sexsignals.php.