Magnus Theatre in Education Presents GOOD TIME, CHARLIE
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO - May 3, 2019 (LSN) Last September, thousands of teenagers walked out of high schools across the province to protest proposed changes to the sexual education curriculum. Thunder Bay students held signs with slogans like ‘we do not consent!’, ‘don’t cut our curriculum’ and ‘sex ed saves lives’. Out of this movement, Magnus Theatre’s newest Collective Creation Project - The Consent Project - was born.
The Collective Creation Project is an annual program, running from November through to May. Local high school students meet twice a week to collectively write a play with theatre professionals on an issue of importance to them, rehearse it and then ultimately perform it on Magnus’ Mainstage.
The process begins with research into the subject, this year including a workshop with The Consent Project partner Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre, and it has been eye opening for the students involved. “There have been aspects of consent we’ve discussed that I haven’t considered before, like if both parties are drunk, then what does that mean for sexual assault?” Keira Essex, a grade ten student at Superior CVI states. “The audience will learn the rules of consent – for example, if someone is incapacitated, it’s not okay. That’s a huge theme in the beginning: these are the four rules of consent. Later, the play goes into specifics, like a lot of teens and people in general don’t know that you need consent to take someone’s picture and to share it online.”
“A lot of what is considered normal by teens today can be problematic when it comes to consent. Youth need to be educated on the topic,” agrees Brook Malone, also a grade ten student at Superior CVI. “We talked about how education for youth about consent is most often directed towards girls and what they should do. Male youth are often left in the dark.” Good Time, Charlie, the play written through The Consent Project, was written with male youth in mind to address that knowledge gap. The production aims to educate about practicing good consent and explores the grey area between what’s socially accepted and what’s right.
With one evening performance on May 28th, participants are hoping that families will attend alongside their teenagers. “Some parents can be uncomfortable talking with their kids about sexual issues like consent, so this would be a great opportunity to start a discussion,” offers grade 12 Hammarskjold student Liam Beaulne.
Good Time, Charlie was created and produced with the generous support of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and the Ontario Arts Council. The show runs from Tuesday, May 28th to Thursday, May 30th and tickets are available at the Magnus Theatre box office and online at www.magnus.on.ca at a cost of $8 each.
L- R in photo: Jasmine McGuire, Cornelius Beaver, Brook Malone, Stephanie Meredith (front), Russell Frost, Liam Beaulne (front), Keira Essex, Chase Lester.
Photo credit: Scott Hobbs