#CBC: “Teaching teenagers about #MeToo by way of theatre ” #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada
The #MeToo motion has opened up tough discussions concerning the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault, notably in grownup workplaces. But the difficulty will also be a every day actuality for at present’s teenagers — and two new Canadian theatre productions for younger individuals are shifting these difficult conversations to centre stage.
“Even if it’s awkward and painful and weird and uncomfortable, we still need to just share experiences and share our thoughts and feelings on it,” mentioned Caroline Toal, one of many younger actors showing in a brand new play, Selfie, at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto.
Written by Christine Quintana, the manufacturing is about in opposition to an alcohol-fuelled celebration, the place a sophisticated incident shatters the connection between three teenage mates.
“It’s been a real journey of creating something that has all the complexities of real life but is also undeniable,” Quintana instructed CBC News.
Some younger viewers members instructed her that they had by no means discovered about consent in conditions “that entertained the idea that there isn’t necessarily violent intent right away” and compelled them to contemplate how “a good person” might nonetheless harm another person.
The Vancouver playwright mentioned she was struck by a number of high-profile circumstances of sexual assault involving teenagers, together with that of Daisy Coleman, who, alongside together with her finest good friend, mentioned she was raped by older boys from their highschool that they had snuck out to fulfill.
People usually say “that wouldn’t happen here,” mentioned Quintana, however she wished “to dive into that resistance.”
“We have to say, ‘No, that happens in our community, in our schools, in our close relationships.'”
I do not need this play to villainize any teen behaviour…as a result of that is the place the dialog ends.– Christine Quintana , playwright
There aren’t any monsters in Selfie; Quintana mentioned she was trying to create characters have layers of complexity and are relatable.
She additionally acknowledges that the manufacturing will seemingly result in tough post-viewing conversations between viewers members, in addition to between college students and their educators and fogeys.
“The play offers more questions than answers because that’s what we have right now,” she mentioned. “I don’t want this play to villainize any teen behaviour in particular, because that’s where the conversation ends.”
‘It’s all of our drawback’
Another real-life case — that of Canadian teen Amanda Todd, who died by suicide after being blackmailed by a web-based predator and dealing with incessant bullying by schoolmates — motivated Canadian-British playwright Evan Placey to create his play, Girls Like That.
“I was really interested in why were young women calling each other sluts,” mentioned Placey, who famous there’s sometimes been way more examination into why males specific misogynistic views.
After interviewing teen women within the U.Ok. about points they mentioned have been vital to them, Placey was stunned on the quantity who have been blind to or bored with feminism. Some additionally expressed misogynistic viewpoints they’d internalized, he mentioned.
Girls Like That — which debuted within the U.Ok. and is now taking part in at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre — delves into that dynamic because it explores the interactions of a bunch of teenage women who’ve grown up collectively, after a unadorned picture of one in every of them goes viral.
Placey mentioned he felt it was vital to unpack why teenagers would possibly mistreat one another and select not assist each other.
“We all do it. We all stay silent. We all sometimes make comments about other people,” he mentioned.
“Whether it’s because we turn a blind eye, whether we talk about someone behind their back, whether we judge someone, whether we click on the photo. … It’s not just about ‘the baddie’ who forces someone to take a photo or puts it out there. Actually, it’s all of us — it’s all of our problem.”
Like SelfieGirls Like Us would not try to supply solutions. What’s vital is recognizing and acknowledging such issues and opening a dialogue to facilitate change, mentioned Placey.
To encourage this, each productions have hosted talkback periods, permitting their teen audiences a possibility and the house to debate the problems and matters raised — together with duty and intervention.
“Some people go through these things, but they don’t like to speak up about it,” mentioned Atiya Summers, a 13-year-old Toronto pupil who noticed Selfie together with her classmates.
“Watching this, maybe we can help people do it and speak up about it.”
Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-05-07 16:53:42, as ‘Teaching teenagers about #MeToo by way of theatre