May is always a dry month for theater in this town. Between finals and graduation at UGA and the end of the public-school year (and suddenly having to keep the kids occupied), most live-performance outfits and outlets tend to lay low until the stampede passes and the dust settles.
Rape Culture: The theater and live-performance calendar is, therefore, a bit light this month, but what we do have on tap are some exciting and important events to check out if you can.
Much has been made, particularly during last year’s ghastly election cycle, over what has been called America’s rape culture, the societal zeitgeist that continues to gloss over the horrific and dehumanizing crime of sexual assault with such disgusting tropes as “boys will be boys” and “she was asking for it.” It’s this dynamic that leads to the underreporting of rape, the stigmatization of the victim rather than the predator, and rampant public misinformation about the true scope of the crime. Some people, many of whom sit in places of power (and lay claim to knowledge about the arcane powers of the uterus despite not having one), deny that rape culture exists even as we watch it play out on the daily news in stories of girls’ lives ruined or lost in the wake of some boy’s sense of entitlement and lack of impulse control. But real it is and in college towns like ours it’s all too sickeningly common.
Local performer and director Sellers Webb will present a performance event on this issue called Every 2 Minutes in the Lab space at Ciné at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 2. The show will consist of short works written and performed by UGA students and a staging of Until Someone Wakes Up, a 1992 play by Carolyn Levy and students of Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) that has been making the rounds of college and high-school campuses for the past 20 years. The performance promises to be harrowing but absolutely vital, an example of what live-performance does and should do best. The Lab space is small, certainly, but it will be worth rubbing shoulders to get as many folks in as possible.
There will be a talk-back after the show. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested, with proceeds going to The Cottage Sexual Assault Center and the Children’s Advocacy Center.
Photo Credit: Steven Carroll
Psyck Psocks: The Town & Gown Players continue their tradition of experimental Second Stage shows with a presentation of original sketches performed by an all-star cast of… sock puppets. One hesitates to characterize Psychosis of the Psock as a “puppet show,” because it’s not. It is, rather, a series of short pieces with often very grownup themes, but with puppets in place of flesh-and-blood actors. This is not the first time the troupe has done this, and from all reports the last show was wonderfully surreal and entertaining.
Psychosis of the Psock runs Friday-Sunday, May 3-5, at the Athens Community Theatre on Grady Ave. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the door.
Kid and Fun-Friendly: Because geeks love puns, May 4 has become universally known (get it?) as National Star Wars Day. To celebrate, the Rose of Athens theater company will hold a family-friendly Star Wars-themed fundraising event called “May the Fourth Be With You” in Bishop Park, 705 Sunset Dr.. The event will feature performances by bands for kids and bands for grownups, along with jugglers and fire-throwers. There will also be craft tables for the kids, including a “lightsaber creation station,” and catering by Zaxby’s and Terrapin. Everyone is encouraged to dress up and get their Jedi, Sith, or scruffy-looking nerf-herder on.
“May the Fourth Be With You” runs from 3:30-7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 for guests 21 and older, $8 for 20 and younger. All proceeds will benefit Rose of Athens’ educational and school-outreach programs. For more information visit www.roseofathens.org or call 706-340-9181.
Precocious and Aggravating: A good example of the kind of program Rose of Athens puts on is its upcoming production of Ramona Quimby, based on the beloved children’s books by Beverly Cleary. The story of precocious and often aggravating Ramona and her older sister Beezus comes to life in a show that will run for school audiences Wednesday-Friday, May 8-10 and May 15-17, at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and for the general public on Friday & Saturday, May 10 & 11 and May 17 & 18, at 7 p.m. All shows are at Seney-Stovall Chapel. Tickets for the evening shows are $18 and may be purchased at www.athensmusic.net. For information about booking a show for schools, contact www.roseofathens.org.