Purdue Theatre to present ‘Good Kids’

April 3, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Theatre will complete its 2014-15 season with a new work by one of America's most noted female dramatists. Naomi Iizuka’s "Good Kids," will begin Friday (April 10) at the Carole and Gordon Mallett Theatre in Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts.

The play, directed by Joel Ebarb, is based on actual events in Steubenville, Ohio in 2012, involving an intoxicated female who was raped by members of the local high school football team while images and video were posted through social media. The play addresses the influences that can lead “good kids” to commit sexual assault, as well as a number of prevalent social issues, including the notion that the responsibility is on women to take preventative measures to avoid such encounters, rather than on the men who act as predators.

The play is the first in a new initiative by the Big Ten Theatre Consortium (the group of theater department administrators at Big Ten Conference universities) to support female playwrights and provide female theater students and professional actors with strong roles. For their first commission, the consortium chose award-winning Naomi Iizuka, head of playwriting at the University of California San Diego. For the Big Ten commission, she created “Good Kids,” which explores, in her words, "a casual sexual encounter gone wrong and its very public aftermath.” Set in a Midwestern high school, “in a world of Facebook and Twitter, smart phones and YouTube,” the play provides an abundance of powerful, contemporary roles for theater students of both sexes.

Because of the topical issues explored in the play, Purdue Theatre will provide an opportunity for audience members to react to the performance afterward. The theatre has partnered with Mental Health America in Tippecanoe County to facilitate an open forum about rape culture and sexual assault after each performance.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. April 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25. Matinees also will be offered at 2:30 p.m. on April 12, 18, 25 and 26. Tickets are $19.50 for the general public, $12.50 for students and $15.50 for seniors ages 62 and older.

A special preview performance of 'Good Kids' will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, with all seats $6.50 general admission.

Tickets for "Good Kids" are available at the Pao Hall, Elliott Hall and Stewart Center box offices or by calling 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. The Nancy T. Hansen Theatre is located in Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts at 552 W. Wood St., West Lafayette.

The Department of Theatre is in the College of Liberal Arts and is part of the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. 

Contact: David Lageveen, director of marketing and donor relations for Purdue Theatre, 765-494-3084, lageveen@purdue.edu

Source: Joel Ebarb, 765-494-3081, jebarb@purdue.edu 

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