Speak About It recently received some awesome press coverage from the Orient at Bowdoin College. Below is the article, written as part of a larger piece about recent alumni. Thanks, Melissa!
Recent alumni take Bowdoin lessons to different careers
April 1, 2011
Recent graduates have proven that life after Bowdoin can lead to many paths, from designing cutting-edge fly-fishing technology to sports writing, to talking about sex.
Shana Natelson ’10 decided to take a powerful Bowdoin experience and continue it post-graduation. A Government and Legal Studies major with a Spanish minor, captain of the women’s ice hockey team, Peer Health member and tour guide, Natelson also took part in the inaugural performance of “Speak About It” and remained involved for the rest of her time at Bowdoin.
The play—originally written by Linzee Troubh ’09, Jeremy Bernfield ’09, Health Education Coordinator for Health Services Emily Skinner ’08 and Associate Director of the office of the Dean of Student Affairs Meadow Davis—employs contributed stories to foster dialogue about sex and relationships at Bowdoin. The production focuses on “issues of consent, sexual assault, and bystander intervention,” and debuted during Orientation in 2009. According to Natelson, the play was greeted “with much better feedback than we anticipated” and the “positive buzz” continued, inspiring additional performances.
Natelson, conferring last spring with Davis, Skinner and Dean Foster, was inspired to adapt the play and bring it to other schools. “I knew I didn’t want to go to [graduate] school, and I didn’t want to work at a desk,” she said.
Natelson instead spent the past summer revising the play’s script for travel, creating contacts and developing a webpage (speakaboutitonline.com) for the project.
Natelson has served as producer, actor, writer, and director, working alongside fellow alum Nick Smith ’09.
“Nick has been my partner as we move forward,” she said.
Natelson and Smith performed at the University of Southern Maine in February, and will be joined by Laura Armstrong ’12 and Branden Asemeh ’12 for a performance at Colby this Wednesday, directed in part by Anna Ausubel ’10.
“We rag on Bowdoin once or twice,” said Natelson of the Colby performance.
While structurally the same, Natelson explained that each performance is adapted to its audience. “If we can tell jokes and make people laugh, they feel more interested, more connected,” she said. “The [ultimate] goal is to create dialogue.”
Having experienced the play’s success at Bowdoin, Natelson reflected, “It has been a lot of fun to see these results as we move to other schools. Natelson described the experience thus far as “an adventure” and hopes to continue her involvement. She and Smith are set to perform at Williams for Orientation 2011 and are looking to hold an open casting call in order to secure a full-time cast for a string of shows in the fall.