Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Illumination Project engages actors and audiences on sexism, interpersonal violence

Photos and Story by | Start the discussion

The spring term’s Illumination Project, PCC’s interactive social justice theater program, is underway and shedding light on sexism and interpersonal violence.

The current season offers three different performances, “Unheard,” “Be Nice” and “One Bad Night,” which all feature short, realistic scenes of interpersonal situations that cause an individual to feel threatened or denigrated.

In a second run-through of each scene, members of the audience are invited to stop the action and come on stage with the actors to try out alternative responses that help disrupt the target behavior. Rehearsing in this safe atmosphere gives participants the opportunity build communication skills and explore possible alternatives to behaviors.

In a recent performance of “Be Nice,” one scene revolves around a woman who is subjected to unwanted attention through another student’s unrelenting text messages.

In a recent performance of “Be Nice,” one scene revolves around a woman who is subjected to unwanted attention through another student’s unrelenting text messages.

In a recent performance of “Be Nice,” one scene revolves around a woman who is subjected to unwanted attention through another student’s unrelenting text messages. In another, a student says that a disabled woman has no reason to be concerned about safety in the parking lot at night because she wasn’t sexually desirable.

Project coordinator/instructor Jeannie LaFrance said that staging this term’s theme has been challenging because so many of the student educators have their own experiences with domestic or sexual violence.

“Many of them have had their lives severely impacted and limited by this issue,” said LaFrance. “It’s made it difficult in a variety of ways for them to attend college, and so then writing a play about the worst things that have ever happened to you and then putting them up on stage is hard.

“It’s been really amazing to see the students being able to write and perform about this because they’re so passionate about making a change in our society and making sure that this is an issue that people will pay attention to and take seriously.”

Performances are being held through Tuesday, May 30 at all four campuses.

  • Monday, May 8; 11 a.m.-12:50 p.m. Sylvania PAC Lobby.
  • Tuesday, May 9; 11 a.m.-12:50 p.m. Sylvania PAC Lobby.
  • Wednesday, May 10; 1-2:50 p.m. Sylvania PAC Lobby.
  • Tuesday, May 16; 3-4:50 p.m. Sylvania PAC Lobby.
  • Wednesday, May 17; 12-1:50 p.m. Rock Creek B9 Event Center.
  • Wednesday, May 17; 4-5:50 p.m. Rock Creek B9 Event Center.
  • Friday, May 19; 9-10:50 a.m. Southeast Library 207.
  • Monday, May 22; 11 a.m.-12:50 a.m. Cascade MAHB Auditorium.
  • Monday, May 22; 2-3:50 p.m. Cascade MAHB Auditorium.
  • Wednesday, May 24; 9-10:50 a.m. Cascade MAHB Auditorium.
  • Thursday, May 25; 9-10:50 a.m. Cascade MAHB Auditorium.
  • Tuesday, May 30; 10-11:50 a.m. Rock Creek B9 Event Center.
  • Tuesday, May 30; 12-1:50 p.m. Rock Creek B9 Event Center.

The Illumination Project is currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year. Student educators receive a total of 12 tuition-free credits, which are college transferable and meet general education and cultural literacy requirements. The deadline to apply is May 26. Learn more about program requirements or apply online. You can also attend one of the following information sessions being held in Room 204, Sylvania Library:

  • Tuesday, May 9; 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 10; 3-4 p.m.
  • Monday, May 15; 9-10 a.m.
  • Thursday, May 18; 12-1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 23; 9-10 a.m.

Start the discussion

PCC offers this limited open forum as an extension of the respectful, well-reasoned discourse we expect in our classroom discussions. As such, we welcome all viewpoints, but monitor comments to be sure they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. We will remove them if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, off-topic items, or spam. This is the same behavior we require in our hallways and classrooms. Our online spaces are no different.

Follow

Email Subscriptions

Enter your email address to follow PCC News and recieve notifications of new posts by email.

What's Hot?

Archives

Search PCC News