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Presentation uses humor to explore complexities of dating

The two-person interactive presentation entitled “Sex Signals” gave students insight into the sometimes comical, yet always puzzling, college dating scene on Tuesday night in Packard Auditorium.

The program, sponsored by the Lehigh University Women’s Center, featured a mixed series of scripted, improvised, and audience-interactive scenes that centered around “the good, the bad, and the ugly” dating situations that college students face on a daily basis.

Actors John Mallory and Amber Kelly, members of Catharsis Productions, kicked off the entertaining show with an audience discussion about the different expectations for men and women on a college campus.

Kelly asked the crowd, “What does it mean to be a lady?”

“Quiet,” “classy,” “passive” and “virgins” were some of the answers shouted back.

When Mallory asked the crowd what it means to be a man, the replies included “sports,” “beer,” “building things” and “aggressive.”

Using the expectations the audience came up with, Mallory and Kelly acted out a scene at an off-campus party, instructing the audience to reach below their seats and wave their “stop signs” when the situation became uncomfortable.

After stop signs were flying, Mallory and Kelly explained that miscommunication between the sexes is often to blame for difficult situations such as their fictional scene, which ultimately may lead to date rape.

The light and comical mood of the evening suddenly shifted to a serious tone when Mallory said, “I really didn’t rape that girl.” He proceeded to defend himself and answer audience questions in a fictional date rape case.

The two actors explained the sudden mood change was intentional because it simulates how quickly the direction of a date can head down the path to rape.

Kelly encouraged those who were personally affected by the simulated date rape case to talk to someone and suggested outlets for students such as the Women’s Center, Counseling Center, the Rainbow Room and hotlines.

Students at the presentation walked away satisfied with what they had learned. Gryphon Kristen Stimola ’09 brought her hall to the show so they could enjoy it together.

“The topic is something that is often overlooked,” she said. “It was the best way to incorporate humor for the age group.”

Eurie Choi ’10, agreed.

“They were funny, entertaining, and really related to the audience,” Choi said.

Mallory and Kelly wrapped up by saying the most important thing students can do is be helpful and supportive to friends who are survivors of rape.

The Women’s Center will host a variety of programs this semester, including events designed to raise awareness on Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

--Alexandra Valasek

Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2007

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