Catharsis Productions’ “Sex Signals” is coming to KU, presenting a “new approach to education on sexual assault prevention,” according to their website,
This two-person play (one male and one female) “provides an insightful, educational, and provocative look into issues of sexual assault and date rape, focusing on the college experience.” The show was created and first performed by Christian Murphy and Gail Stern in 2000. By 2006, the play had been presented at over 200 universities, and was nominated for the Speaker of the Year award by the readers of Campus Activities Magazine.

A Sex Signals poster

The show is performed by varying casts, including Murphy, Stern, Ben Murrie, Kyle Terry, Amber Kelly, John Mallory, and Courtney Abbott.
The seventy-five minute play uses a humorous approach to the awkwardness of dating and the two genders to take a serious look at how miscommunications can lead to sexual assault, even between two normally well-intentioned people. At the end of the play, the audience provides solutions for better communication in interpersonal sexual relationships.
Stern spent seven years as the director of the Campus Advocacy Network at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she provided crisis counseling and court advocacy to victims of rape and domestic violence. She has toured the country, educating college students and law enforcement officers about gender-based violence and hate crime. Stern completed a master’s degree in Education at University of Illinois at Chicago.
Murphy has been a performer, writer, director, educator, and presenter for over ten years. He was co-founder and Artistic Director for Voices in Harmony, a non-profit theater arts program that paired inner-city teenagers with professional actors to write and perform pieces exploring diversity. Christian was the only male performer of “Sex Signals” until the fall of 2003.
All the presenters who work with Catharsis Productions have a wealth of improvisation, presentation and facilitation experience.
In order to attract more students and younger viewers, the play presents itself as more of a fun “sort-of-improv” show about “a guy, a girl, dating, sex, and other stuff!”
“Sex Signals,” hosted by ACE, will be in MSU 183 tonight at 6 p.m.

By Mark Pickett


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