Show to address sexual issues on campus
Gabriela Malespin | Tuesday, March 18, 2014
This Thursday, the Gender Studies department will host their annual production “Loyal Daughters and Sons” at the Carey Auditorium in Hesburgh Library.
“Loyal Daughters and Sons,” originally a thesis project from the gender studies department, is a series of monologues and theatrical performances detailing experiences from Notre Dame students regarding sexuality, gender and sexual assault on campus.
Senior Marissa Vos, director of the “Loyal Daughters and Sons,” said this year’s production aims to link sexual assault prevention with the concept of the Notre Dame community.
“This year we tried to revamp things a bit with the gender relations and gender studies departments. Our tagline this year is ‘Is this how you would treat your family?’” Vos said.
“We want to be true to what we always say, that we are a [Notre Dame] family. We can’t say that we are a family when people are suffering on campus.”
Vos said this year’s script includes both old and new monologues from students who have experienced problems with sexual assault or sexuality on campus.
“With all of the increased reporting, students felt like they could just come forward and tell their stories,” Vos said. “I’m hopeful that it’s something that people are more aware of, because [we] want to create a community where we feel comfortable talking about these kinds of things and [where] we are more active bystanders.”
Vos said the increased awareness of sexual assault through freshman orientation activities has garnered an increased awareness and a greater understanding of the need to report sexual assault.
“The way we revamped the [freshman orientation] education program has made it clear to incoming freshman that reporting [assaults] is essential,” Vos said.
Vos is hopeful that this year’s show will be a follow up to the many sexual-assault-awareness campaigns on campus and will foster a greater sense of community regarding gender issues and acceptance.
“The purpose of the show is not to blame anyone,” Vos said. “The purpose is to come together and make it clear that we want to create a community where we prevent sexual assault and discrimination.”
Shelly Chatman, a writer for the show this year, said many of the interviews from students were left unchanged.
“A lot of the monologues are [a] literal word-for-word of what a person said, and some of the words are so powerful that I felt that they stood on their own,” Chatman said. “The purpose is to understand what [the person] wants us to take away from their stories and making that clear.
“It’s a show that tries to illustrate these issues in a way that’s very creative and helps start a dialogue. I feel that every single member of the Notre Dame community could learn something from this show.”
The show opens Thursday and has performances Friday and Saturday as well.