University of Maine students will perform a show about sexual assault this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Minsky Recital Hall. The School of Performing Arts and the Safe Campus Project are sponsoring the performance, “It’s Not That Simple.”
“This show is to provide support to possible victims and let them know there is hope and that they can seek support,” said second-year Emma Davis, who stage-managed the show.
Molly Schenck, a third-year theater major compiled, choreographed and directed the show. Aimed mainly at college students, the performance incorporates visual and performing arts, including theater, dance, music and new media.
“The whole show is a series of incidents that involve different types of sexual harassment,” said performer Matthew O’Connor. “It kind of goes through what people struggle with.” The performance showcases 29 student performers.
“[The students] put in a lot of time, and for them this is very personal,” said performer Petra Lehman. “Almost everyone in the show has either experienced sexual assault themselves or known someone who has.”
According to Davis, there were six reported sexual assaults in the first month after students returned from winter break.
“There are probably more that don’t get reported,” she added.
Based on Department of Justice statistics, 226 sexual assaults would occur at a university similar to UMaine’s size each year. The number of reported sexual assaults at UMaine in 2006 was 11.
“From personal experiences, [the performers] really want to get this message out there,” Lehman said.
Donations will be accepted to benefit Rape Response Services and Spruce Run in Bangor.