“One Night Out” – Sexual Assault Prevention
“The interACT performance troupe’s presentation on Sexual Assault has been an integral part of our overnight SOAR program and has exposed and enlightened over 1,200 incoming students over the past three summers. This program provides the students with an interactive experience like no other that I have seen in my twenty-five years in the profession. The troupe engages the new students in incredible dialogue that is extremely beneficial and timely as they begin their college careers at CSULB. This interactive peer model is the best method of conveying a message.”
Kenneth T. Kelly
Director, Student Transition and Retention Services(STARS)
Student Orientation Advising and Registration (SOAR)
“interACT performed at our annual new member conference, Greek 101, for the first time this year. What an incredible experience! The students enjoyed the personalized nature of the performance. Hearing the message from their peers, in an interactive venue, made the subject much more relateable. Following the conference, I had several requests to have interACT cover all of the topics covered during our program, and there was definitely enthusiasm to bring them back every semester!”
Caitlin Roberts, M.A.
Assistant Director Student Life and Development
“I was incredibly impressed with the troupe’s enthusiasm, professionalism, talent, and passion. The group tailored their performance based on some information I gave them regarding the popular places students hang out at, and the student culture. They were also able to adjust their program that night based on who was in the audience, and the size-which was really fantastic. It felt really intimate, and they were able to make the students there feel comfortable to interact with the troupe during their performance…The students who came up to me afterwords all had wonderful things to say about the program. Thank you interACT for an engaging, informative, and skill-building performance! I cannot wait until we bring back interACT for a repeat!”
Lauren Gibson, M.P.A.
University of Delaware
“Each year since 2008, presentations by the interACT Performance Troupe have become a fundamental component of the training program for University Housing’s residential life staff. We have found that the truly interactive nature of the presentation is the most effective way to educate the resident assistants and residence directors on the most appropriate approach to handling cases of sexual assault and domestic violence.
The actors are remarkably good at connecting with an audience and at integrating them into very realistic scenes; it is this audience involvement that has lead us at University Housing to rating Dr. Rich and interACT as the very best resource for preparing our staff in the event that they are confronted with circumstances of sexual assault and, or domestic violence.
Thank you so much for your continued assistance and we look forward to our next opportunity to partner.”
Assistant Director, Residential Housing
“I wanted to let you (and your actors) know how thoroughly impressed, inspired and moved I was by interACT’s performance at Take Back The Night. The performance should be required viewing for all students, staff, and faculty… and community members, state and national legislators.“
Nina M. Flores
Educator and Activist
“The quality of the performance is unfailingly excellent and the message is powerful. As a rape prevention educator and researcher I can attest to the effectiveness of this method of getting the message across on a topic as difficult as rape. It is a non-threatening way to open a dialog between women and men about dating, date rape and relationship violence in general. The performances allow students to actually be part of ‘solving’ the problems of rape, thereby causing them to really think about what they would do and even try out their ideas with the cast. I found the performance to be very compatible with the messages I want to convey in my classes. Professional colleagues who saw a performance at a conference have raved about this group. I wish I could have them visit all my classes. I have never seen an audience looking bored at an interACT performance!”
Professor of Psychology
Nationally recognized rape prevention expert
“…interACT’s performance not only provided important information to students about the nature of sexual assault and community resources, but also affected students at an emotional level, helping to change attitudes. Your work is helping to make the paradigm shift to: What I can do to prevent sexual assault and relationship violence and help educate my friends about this issue… The unique educational experience you provide helps counter a sea of messages that young people receive everyday that encourage unhealthy relationships.
I have been personally impressed with your enthusiasm, passion and dedication, which spreads to your students and performers and all who observe interACT’s work.”
Sharon M. Wasco, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
University of Massachusetts Lowell
“interACT performed at Trinity College (Connecticut) as the feature program for First Year Orientation. 530 students attended, in addition to 38 Resident Assistants (RAs), and administrators, interACT’s Director and cast trained two Trinity students to perform with them that evening. The First Years greeted the performance with raucous laughter and utter silence, depending on the material presented. Many students participated in the interactive scenes: going on stage and practicing active bystander behavior in situations true to a college campus. The general feedback of the performance was extremely positive, not only from the First Years and RAs, but administrators as well.
Following the performance, a brief powerpoint presentation was delivered. In the small group discussions that followed, students considered bystander scenarios and the statistics/ myths/facts depicted in the power point. Students were shocked by the statistics, and engaged by the scenarios. There was much debate about how and when to intervene, and how such extreme statistics could exist in our society
interACT stayed in Hartford for the weekend and conducted intense training with Trinity students and Theater & Dance faculty, enabling Trinity to form a drama troupe based on interACT’s model. The success of interACT’s first Trinity performance last March convinced Theater faculty and others that we would benefit highly from interACT’s expertise in sexual assault prevention. We hope to hold one performance this fall, and successively train the troupe to address other issues including racism and homophobia.
The entire experience with interACT was very positive and gratifying. Their professionalism and talent surpassed all expectations.”
Laura Lockwood, Director of Women’s Center
“Thank you and the talented men and women of interACT Performance Troupe for performing at our workshop on Domestic Violence October 27, 2011. It was amazing how you captivated and engaged the audience with the performance on sexual abuse. Word has spread throughout our organization about your great performance! Again, thank you for your support of this effort which helped us achieve our goal: To increase awareness and knowledge about Domestic Violence.”
Abigail Hooker (Theta Alpha Omega Chapter, President)
Anita Moore-Miller (Theta Alpha Omega Chapter, Social Justice and Human Rights Committee, Chairperson)
“I really appreciate what you all do, and what you were able to bring to Cal State San Marcos when you were here. I especially appreciate how flexible you were, and how you incorporated specific concerns that I had about the oppression of women on my own campus into the performance. Initially, I was a little intimidated by the notion of an interactive performance, but after seeing (and participating in!) ‘One Night Out,’ I know it is a wonderful way to reach people on a much deeper level than can be accomplished by conventional performance. Keep up the good work!”
Programming and Events Specialist, California State University, San Marcos
“The sexual assault scene has become an integral part of our 40-hour training for volunteer Counselor-Advocates. Not only is the performance moving and powerful, but it gives everyone a sense of what a person really goes through when assaulted. I experienced the ‘performance’ just as everyone else did – as a participant, for there are no observers. Not only was it moving and powerful, but it gave everyone a sense of what a person really goes through when assaulted. Having ‘audience members’ think about what went wrong and then join the performance to try to change the outcome gave them a further understanding that there is nothing a victim can do to cause the assault. Our volunteers come in to the training session unsure about their abilities to help others who have been sexually assaulted. They leave with the knowledge of what a victim goes through, that what is thought to be helpful advice can actually be harmful, and that the best thing is to ask what the victim needs and to be there to support him/her. It is my sincere hope that our collaboration will continue and others will discover what a valuable tool they are.”
Volunteer and Training Coordinator
Su Casa Family Crisis and Support Center
“On behalf of the Orange County Probation Department and CSP, Victim Assistance Programs I would like to thank you and your performance troupe for taking the time to perform at the Youth Guidance Center. The actor’s ability to portray a ‘typical’ night out for young adults was outstanding. Under your direction, they really make it clear that there are common perceptions people still have regarding gender roles, dating and sexual assault. InterACT’s unique style of getting the audience to participate empowers our youth to make better decisions in their personal lives and can help prevent sexual assaults and other types of violence. Thank you again for your dedication and professionalism. I look forward to working with you in the near future.”
Program Director, Orange County Probation Department/Victims’ Assistance
“Having interAct perform at West Central Mental Health Clinic was a great experience for clients and staff. A large percentage of clients have experienced sexual assault first-hand. The performance sparked up conversation about the importance of being preventative and proactive in situations where you feel there is a possiblilty of assault. The clients loved the interactive component of the performance. The performance takes on a strength-based approach allowing for clients to role-play and try their interventions in a safe and supportive setting. In all, both client’s and staff members are eagerly waiting for the troupe to return…this was definitely a great therapeutic experience.”
Karen Balumbu, MSW, Los Angeles Social Worker
“I firmly believe that difficult topics such as sexual assault are often best delivered via creative and engaging teaching methods. The performance demonstrated a remarkable ability to facilitate sensitivity, decision- making and thoughtful dialogue.”
Kristie E. Holt
Professor, Health Education
“The scenes that were portrayed were realistic, and the performances enabled students to discuss difficult issues (sexual assault) openly and honestly. The students enjoyed the performances, which were fully participatory and interactive.”
Veronica M. Acosta-Deprez
Professor, Health Education
“Again, thank you to you and your Interact group for performing in front of over 400 students. We heard only positive comments from students and orientation leaders alike. Your group’s performance definitely added depth to our 2-day, overnight programs.”
Student Orientation Leader
“I never cease to be impressed by the actor-audience connection at interACT presentations. Your passion to bring understanding to the issues of sexual and intimate partner violence is such a gift to the students. Again, thank you for all you do.”
Women’s Resource Center, CSU Long Beach
“The Words of our Students” – Racism & Diversity
“I just wanted to sincerely thank you for inviting me to come see interACT Performance Troupe’s wonderful—and challenging—presentation about racial, ethnic and religious intolerance. It was the highlight of my three-day visit to Cal State Long Beach and I could not have enjoyed myself more. I was particularly impressed by the honesty of interACT’s production. Racial and religious issues were directly confronted. The use of actual student journals to construct the dialogue created a powerful performance. I could tell that the students sitting near me were as fully engaged as was I. The performance was particularly successful at creating teaching moments, rather than defensiveness, for the audience. It was truly eye-opening. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see hard-hitting performances like this enough. I hope the troupe’s work will be able to continue long into the future. What interACT is doing is so vitally important in a multicultural society, particularly one such as ours that is becoming ever more diverse. I can’t thank you enough for having invited me to the performance. I hope one day I will also be able to see the troupe’s work on sexual assault as well. Perhaps some day soon, the troupe can travel to Montgomery and share their work with my colleagues here at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Please thank your actors for their important work and for allowing me to participate in their performance. Work like that of your troupe is what is going to bring us to a brighter, more equitable future.”
Heidi Beirich, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Southern Poverty Law Center
“This is the first workshop regarding race that I have attended where audience members did not leave mentally beat up and/or angry from the experience.”
Dean, Lewis and Clark College (Oregon)
“The performance really served to get the students on our campus talking about racism in a new way, and I truly believe that it raised awareness among our students about the subtle forms of racism in our campus community.”
Professor, Linfield College (Oregon)
“The interactive workshop for the Day of Diversity celebration was an exceptional success. Your students were exceptionally well trained by you; they were not only secure in their own performance work, but able to focus their energies on the participants in the workshop, many of whom were encountering these performance methods for the first time. You and your students put people at ease, made sure they felt safe, and generated intense interest in trying these methods with people who had never seen, much less tried, these interactive performance methods. I was truly impressed with the maturity, other-directedness and insight with which your students worked with this audience of approximately 100 students and faculty from across campus. The university-level committee on Equity and Diversity, who sponsored this annual event, told me that this was one of the most inspiring and engaging workshops they’ve sponsored. Having seen almost all of these, I agree. My deepest thanks and immense respect for the work you continue to do better than anyone I know, and for the level of excellence that your students rise to.”
Communication Studies/Performance Studies Professor
California State University, Northridge
It was such a pleasure and a privilege and a powerful experience to have you and the group here. I can’t tell you enough how much I am inspired by what you do. And what is really amazing for me (and so many others) is how you’ve really come up with an ideal performance style and content for getting directly at real, everyday matters of racism and discrimination and hate and prejudice and all that other terrible stuff that makes the world go round. People like you make real change happen in the world and in our society in particular. I have nothing but praise for the work that you do, and nothing but admiration for the kind of person that you and your troupe members are: those who continually examine and challenge not only the racism that is perpetuated by others, but also their own human tendencies to generalize, compartmentalize, stereotype, assume — and form inaccurate perceptions of the people and the communities that we share the world with. I could go on forever, but here’s my gist: You guys are priceless All the best to you and the group, and thanks again!!
“Say What You Really Want To Say!” – Homophobia
I write to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your most amazing work with interACT Performance Troupe. Monday night’s program, “Say What You Really Want to Say” was, without doubt, the best and most transformative college program I have attended in 25 year in higher education as both a student and professor. Your students made me laugh, wince, and even fight back tears (Shane, in particular). I am honored, proud, and humbled to have played a small part in the event.
Henry F. Fradella, J.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Criminal Justice
“…attending this event brought a lot of emotions. When I first arrived… I felt that I was just going to attend another class where I would learn about what sexual assault is and how to prevent this. However, after I arrived, I was in shock as… this was not like a class at all, in fact this was very interactive as they allowed everyone to participate and share their opinions.”
“I really loved how the performers interacted with the audience and had the volunteers come up with their own ideas…about how they would try and prevent the abuse.”
“I walked out of the performance learning a lot, and feeling a lot. I learned that rapists do what they do because they like the power, not because they find someone attractive. I learned that I can defend myself in these situations and not be fearful and to fight back.”
“One emotion that I vividly felt throughout the performance was surprisingly amusement…the performers did a wonderful job incorporating the audience, keeping everyone amused, but educating at the same time.”
“After watching this performance it made me tell myself that, ‘you can be a better man if you prevent something from happening.’ “
“The performance made me aware of this problem and also taught me how to be supportive if my friend or relative ever got into this type of situation.”
“Best session on racism I have ever seen! Awesome! Thought-provoking! Excellent!”
“A very eye-opening, informative experience. I suggest this program be used again for any race-related issue/conference.”
“Amazing—you didn’t just tell us about racism, you showed us, you made me feel the words being said. Thank you.”
“Awesome performance—totally challenged my boundaries and expectations and is among the most hopeful workshops I’ve been to in that it provided concrete, practical ideas for working on very, very tough issues.”
“Excellent way to integrate learning! Truly an ultimate way of service-learning. I was pushed and challenged to examine my beliefs. Thank you for the experience. I wish there were troupes similar to this one in each community.”
“The presenters were extremely open and talented. Their willingness to be honest with themselves and others made me feel like I am not the only one fighting the battle.”
“Excellent. Amazing. Eye-opening. Makes me face my naïve assumptions about others’ racism and deal with my own misconceptions.”
“This was totally amazing! Great—stunning.”
“Excellent, excellent, excellent.”
“It was awesome. I really enjoyed it. It was heartbreaking to see but it’s reality.”
“This performance has urged me to make a difference and I will.”