Few people would dare initiate a conversation about date rape at a cocktail party, and fewer still would make light of it. That unfortunate individual would face blank stares at best, or be carted out to the pool and thrown in it at worst. Remarkably, one show takes the risk to not only address sexual assault, but use edgy humor and improvisational comedy to do it.
Catharsis Productions' Sex Signals, which was originally developed through Stage Left's Downstage Left new play development program under the name The Sensitive Swashbuckler and Other Dating Myths, is a unique combination of comedy, improvisation and education, conceived by Christian Murphy of Catharsis Productions and Gail Stern, a former rape crisis counselor and professional comedian who has appeared on Politically Incorrect. Through scripted material and improvised audience interaction, this two-person show examines gender role stereotypes, cultural expectations, language, and media influences as a way of taking a humorous and provoking look at the miscommunication that can occur while dating. It also challenges viewers to explore the issue of consent.
Now in its seventh year of college touring, Sex Signals has been nominated several times for The Speaker of the Year Award by Campus Activities Magazine, and has been performed over 1200 times at over 450 college campuses.