It’s been about a month since we’ve updated the blog, but that doesn’t mean this rolling stone has gathered moss! Wow, that was a terrible pun, we’re sorry. We think this blog post will be better than that pun.
The last post saw us wrapping up ten days on the road, having traveled to top colleges throughout New England. Everyone was excited for some rest and a day off in their own bed, and we hit the road again, this time bringing the performance to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) following our facilitation the previous week with their RA’s. This was also the first show where we were able to mix the casts and put on a show with Honey Badgers and Bubble Butts. This audience saw Luke, Ellen, Maritza, Nick, and Shana onstage together and we had a great time making jokes about “ceramics class.” Our second trip to Providence in a week was a great one, and it was exciting to have a show with a combined cast.
We were able to take another week off, which for most people meant returning to school or other jobs. Sunday, September 16th we were back in the minivan and heading to Clinton, NY for our second year as part of Hamilton College’s orientation programming. This was the first of three shows this week, all for schools who choose to bring Speak About It to their campuses after students have had a chance to unpack, attend a class or two, and develop an opinion about the dining hall food. And for the second year, we had a wonderful trip to Hamilton. We were able to have lunch with all of the RA’s, many of whom had seen the performance last year as either an RA or a first-year, which makes returning to schools that much more exciting for the cast. After a brief detour to the infamous Cider Mill, we had dinner with members of Hamilton’s sexual assault prevention organization, SAVES (Sexual Assault and Violence Education and Support), who again were able to provide us with some information and insight into the current campus culture. Marion, Elly, Luke, Shana, and Nick delivered an evening show to a packed house and were able to chat after the performance about our impact with students and administrators.
Home for a moment to do laundry and grab the new script, we met in Boston on Wednesday at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) for more extended orientation programming. Kyle, Maritza, Ellen, Shana, and Luke were able to start conversations with a great group of first-years and their “Primer” leaders, and Nick even showed up to spectate!
Saturday night the crew was back in Portland for a performance at Maine College of Art (MECA), and we were excited to welcome Amy Raina back to the stage for a show at her alma mater! This performance was a part of their week-long programming for “Sex-a-palooza,” a week of on-campus programming dedicated to encouraging dialogue among students about sex and consent. It’s always great to put on a show in our home town, and we were able to have some great conversations with students afterward.
And thus wrapped our month-long orientation touring circuit. In less than 30 days, we sent two casts to 11 schools and started a dialogue about consent education and sexual assault prevention with over 10,000 college first-years. We performed in front of our largest audience to date (1700 students at Brown) and a record-number of students at one school (3800 first-years in 26 hours at Cornell). We visited new schools, art schools, and saw our third year of performances at a handful of schools (Colby, Haverford, and Williams). We were welcomed by community-members in Portland who opened their homes and hearts to our actors during rehearsals and a local performance in August, we met passionate administrators and hard-working students, and ended the tour with 11 capable actors who could share the stage with anyone in the team to change lives.
Stay tuned for a tour review from Ellen from Cast Bubble Butts and updates about future shows. On the horizon, we have three high school performances and one for a college in western MA. We’re also looking for new board members for Speak About It, Inc, the nonprofit that oversees the performance, so please inquire if you’re interested. In the meantime, be sure to check the Facebook and Twitter for pictures and quotes from the tour, and keep speaking about it!