While movements like Me Too and Time’s Up look to end sexual assault, two Central Alberta schools are shining a spotlight on sexual consent.
Hunting Hills High School in Red Deer and Penhold Crossing Secondary School will host Concrete Theatre’s play Consent March 2.
The Edmonton-based production company received an $80,000 grant from the Government of Alberta’s Status of Women ministry to produce, perform and tour the play throughout Alberta.
Work on the play began about four years ago, said Mieko Ouchi, Concrete Theatre artistic director.
“We’re kind of lucky these movements have picked up steam around this time. There’s so much interest from young people to talk about these issues,” she said.
Ouchi said the movements bring the topic of sexual assault to the forefront of everyone’s mind, which is a good thing.
“Even some adults are struggling to understand this issue.
“It’s an important time to approach young people with the subject and get them thinking about how to protect themselves and be a respectful partner,” Ouchi said.
Consent is about a young couple grappling with the emotional aftermath of a confusing sexual encounter.
The play shows students what could happen if sexual consent is ignored and where a victim can get help, Ouchi said. It also serves as a preventative model, by showing someone how their abusive behaviour can hurt others, she added.
Concrete Theatre has received a ton of support from schools, students and parents, said Ouchi.
Ouchi said she writes plays she wished she could’ve seen when she was younger.
“I believe in the power of theatre to illuminate issues for young people. It’s an engaging way in, especially when they love the characters and are interested in the story,” she said.
“You get to see these fully formed human beings in front of you and will see the journey they’re going on and walk in their shoes for an hour,” said Ouchi.
About 400 Grade 9 students are expected to attend the play at Hunting Hills.
More information on the play can be found at www.concretetheatre.ca.