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Now Playing: Sex Signals

Posted 5/5/2009   Updated 5/6/2009 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Rachelle Coleman
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/5/2009 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- "Sex Signals", an interactive improvisation show, will be at the base theater today. The show will give Airmen across Eielson the opportunity to better understand the importance the Air Force has placed on sexual assault prevention.

The presentation is one part of Eielson's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office's planned events. 

The production differs from traditional sexual assault prevention programs in that it incorporates improvisational comedy, education, and audience interaction to provide a provocative look at dating, sex, and the core issue of consent. The two-person play begins by taking an irreverent and funny look at the awkwardness of dating as the actors represent each gender's perspective. 

Catharsis Productions has developed and produced specialized versions of "Sex Signals" for each branch of the military - Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. They  consulted with representatives from each branch to reflect the military jargon, customs, and courtesies of that particular branch of service within a customized script. 

Each program also incorporates the core values of the specific military branch, and utilizes these principles to empower military personnel to be allies in sexual assault prevention. 

Through improvisation and audience interaction, the play explores how social pressures, unrealistic fantasies, power inequity, and false preconceptions of the other sex all contribute to the tensions often found in dating. Then, through a semi-improvisational scene, the presenters demonstrate how these, and other factors can lead to sexual assault. The scene enables audiences to recognize the true nature of rape, and to place full responsibility with the rapist, however much they may like them. 

Furthermore, "Sex Signals" challenges audiences who have mislabeled coercive behavior as seduction, to reexamine a culture that too often holds victims of rape responsible for their own vulnerability 

Catharsis Productions aims to confront and educate audiences on challenging social issues in innovative and unexpected ways. Their educational programs engage students in tough conversations about the topics of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and oppression. The presenters encourage genuine dialogue, using humor, audience interaction, and dynamic theatrical media to overcome the traditional defensiveness and preconceptions about these issues. 

Catharsis Productions states that their goal is to challenge mainstream beliefs and myths, enabling individuals to challenge their positions of power and privilege, question the cultural values they take for granted, and to hold themselves accountable for their actions. It is their hope that views and behaviors can be changed once audiences become attuned to their moral responsibilities within intimate relationships, and that the seeds of long-term change may be planted as a result of their efforts.

Editors note: Information from this article was collected from the Catharsis Productions website. For more information, visit http://www.catharsisproductions.com/.

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