Rape culture debated in LCC play
By Shauna Stocken
In the current digital age, photos and videos can go viral on the internet within mere seconds.
In LCC’s production of “Student Body,” a group of 10 college students debate the consequences of reporting an alleged rape for all those involved.
“This is a critical topic, especially in the campus climate right now, and in the nation in general,” said MSU student Grace Koepele, 20. Koepele attended the second production of “Student Body” on Feb. 16.
In “Student Body,” a camera circling a house party is found days later. The camera had captured keg stands, dancing, selfies and the sexual assault of a fellow student.
“It definitely worries me that I can understand how the characters became less inclined to report what they were aware of as they learned that it implicates them as well,” Koepele said. “It’s a problem that many people could come across.”
The approximately hour-and-a-half play was staged in Dart Auditorium Feb. 15-16 and Feb. 22-24.
As the debate to ignore the assault raged on, the characters shared stories of life-altering rumors and previous sexual and physical attacks.
“At first it was hard figuring out the character,” said second-year LCC student Maria McCarthy, 20, who played the drunken role of Natalie. “Once I figured her out, it was easier.”
McCarthy’s character not only stumbled on stage, flask in hand, but described a violent sexual assault Natalie faced while walking home from a bar on campus.
“I am hoping that people (the audience) will leave more aware and start thinking about things,” McCarthy said. “So if they do get into that situation or anything like it, they will be more mentally prepared to deal with it.”
After a unanimous vote, the evidence was destroyed, and a vow of silence was sworn by cast members.
“My first instinct is to go to the police,” said Koepele. “I also understand the justice system revolving around these types of issues is very complicated, and not always as efficient as it should be.”
If faced with domestic violence, dating abuse, safety concern or a complaint against a student, LCC Police and Public Safety can help by contacting (517) 483-1800.
The next LCC production is “Pageant Play,” Friday and Saturday, March 29-30 and 5-6 at 8 p.m. There will be a Sunday show on Sunday, April 7 at 2 p.m. The production will be in the Black Box Theatre in LCC’s Gannon Building.