‘Slut Shaming’ unleashes harsh truths

By: Hannah Paige Michels ~Head Photographer~

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Photo courtesy of xavier.edu | Katie Mitchell (left), Cassie Delicath (center) and Hannah Sheppard (right) collectively starred as Lauren Lucas as she travels through time to piece together the missing details of her rape.

I hope you made it to Xavier’s production of Slut Shaming: A Time Travel Rape Adventure last week to see a powerful performance tackling rape culture head on.

Slut Shaming follows 15-year old Lauren Lucas before, during and after the night she was sexually assaulted at a high school party. Often referring to herself as a time-traveller, Lauren takes the audience with her as she revisits the night of her attack, along with other memories and flashbacks of people who come back to haunt her.

Only 50 minutes, the performance is fast-paced and gripping, as three actresses rhythmically and unapologetically recall the night of Lauren’s attack.

Seniors Katie Mitchell and Hannah Sheppard and sophomore Cassie Delicath all portray the role of Lauren Lucas simultaneously, as well as filling in other character roles throughout the performance.

The blackbox stage was dressed with a pair of lockers, side by side, which would be opened throughout the performance to reveal drapery and chains of flyers, filling up the empty stage with an entirely new space and mood.

While the end was a bit preachy and the shouting of the characters was repetitive (and rather annoying), the few flaws in this show could never compromise the significance and impact of the performance.

Following the show, director Bridget Leak explained how the script evolved with additions referencing issues such as the Brock Turner rape case to keep the show current and relevant.

The script was poignant and self-aware, and the performances mimicked the unapologetic style of slam poetry.

The actors truly owned the story they were telling. They were unafraid to be angry about Lauren’s rape, to assert to the entire audience that this was no misunderstanding, that rape culture is an incredibly real epidemic facing our world. The performers demanded that the audience not only hear what they had to say, but also listen to the story they were telling.

I could not have picked a more important and relevant show to kick off the school year. For all of the voices silenced by rape and sexual assault, Slut Shaming gives a voice back to survivors, the words echoing off every wall on this campus.

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