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March 23, 1990 - Image 88

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

issues, they are full of humor
and campus lingo.
Talk to Us provides more
than a forum on issues
related to discrimination. The
interactive theater troupe has
performed scenes about
eating disorders for U-M
Health Services. Other topics
addressed are academic
pressure, sexually transmit-
ted diseases, sexual assault
and the peer pressure sur-
rounding drugs, alcohol and
sex.
'Palk to Us has performed at
a student leadership con-
ference in Washington, D.C.,
and for Hillel groups at the
University of Pennsylvania,
Haverford College in Penn-
sylvania, Stockton State Col-
lege in New Jersey and
Washington University in St.
Louis.
Following each three
15-minute skits, the audience
is given the opportunity to in-
teract with the student ac-
tors, who remain in character
throughout the discussion,
often forced to defend narrow-
minded views or actions.
Weissman says audience par-
ticipation is 50 percent of the
show.
Interspersed between the
three skits are two
monologues. In one perfor-
mance, U-M freshman, Amy
Kuschner, stands in front of
the audience and delivers this
monologue:
"Women are bad drivers.
Blacks like to dance. I have to
be a geek because I'm in
engineering. If I like country
music, I must be a hick .. .
I'm fat, so I must always be
jolly and fun to be with. I'm
white so I must be racist. I'm
not white so I must be unhap-
py. I'm not beautiful so I must
be lonely."
She concludes, "I must be
awfully idealistic to leave my
apartment every morning.
Because as soon as I do I'm
labeled as something,
anything by someone who
doesn't know the first thing
about me and probably never
will."
Before the troupe performs
a scene, it sits down with the
organization whose issues it
is addressing and asks,
"What do you want us to
say?"
Explains Weissman, "The
troupe becomes a spokesman
for whoever wants us to
speak." Often professional
playwrights are called in to
script the scenes.
Weissman says the troupe's
approach of combating social
concerns by illuminating the
issues is spreading, and a
group has formed at Boston
University in the image of
Talk to Us.
One of the two Talk to Us

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