On the September 27th, the seats in Emerson Performance Center Theatre were filled with Harris-Stowe State University students, both resident and commuter. The students looked confused as they walked in. The stage of didn’t seem like it was set up for a play. There were only four chairs and four stands on the stage. Students were unclear as to what was about to take place.
When the audience was seated, Christopher LaBanca, the director and character of Jon, stepped out on stage to give his thank you’s and explain what everyone wanted to know: where are the stage props for the scenes to the play? Mr. LaBanca explained that this play was specifically designed for the audience to focus on the dialogue and not the changing of the scenes because it focuses on a very serious and heavy topic, Gender Violence. Students were then eager to see how the play will turn out.
The lights dimmed and people settled in their seats as the play began.
“Tape” opens up with Jon, a filmmaker, visiting his best friend Vince, a friend from high school who is now a volunteer firefighter, played by William Humphrey. Jon was in town for a film festival to showcase his new film and decided to stop by Vince’s motel. Jon and Vince were casually catching up with each other, that is, until the conversation quickly escalated to ten years ago when Jon admits he date-raped a girl, Amy Randall, who they both dated in high school.
Things really heated up between the best friends when Vince pulls out a tape recorder showing he taped their whole conversation. Jon was shocked, asking Vince what he was going to do the recording. Vince then explained he was going to present it to Amy. Jon’s best friend turns out to be his worst enemy when Vince decides to invite Jon to join him and Amy for dinner as he presents the tape to her.
It’s a good thing that this meaningful dialogue was brought to the university because things like this happen on a daily basis. But most will think nothing of it until it hits close to home. It’s very important to stay aware and take action, whether it’s sexual assault or relationship violence, it all falls under gender violence. “No” means No!”, even if one doesn’t say anything.