Improv tour brings message of prevention

Story by Emily Albrent

 

UW-Eau Claire hosted “Sex Signals,” a production exploring false perceptions found in dating and relationships, on Wednesday in Schofield Auditorium.

Started in 2000, the show is one of the most popular sexual assault awareness programs among students, according to a university news release.

Sponsored in part by the Center for Alcohol Education Studies, “Sex Signals” is a two-person comedy sketch about the realities of dating in college, said Jennifer Lee, director of CASE.

Lee said this production is crucial because a lot of people in college are entering into new relationships and communication is the key to any relationship.

“It is important that we help them build skills that are going to take them to a variety of environments throughout their life,” Lee said.

The production made jokes about college dating situations, relating it to Jersey Shore, as well as posing the question, “What would Chuck Norris do?”

However, the show took a serious turn, dealing with everything from casual flirting to rape.

At one point, the two performers, Annie Rix and Kyle Terry, asked audience members to reach down and pick up the red card placed under their seat. The card read “stop” in bold letters.

During the skits, the audience members were asked to hold up the card if anything was uncomfortable or seemed wrong, resulting in the performers stopping the particular skit. They would talk about the situation in detail, while including the audience by posing open-ended questions.

The audience waved their cards wildly during a skit with Terry harassing Rix at a party. Both actors stopped and asked the audience why the situation made them uncomfortable. It became an educational experience as audience members admitted that they have seen a situation like this at a party and sometimes felt powerless to stop it.

Sophomore Lexi DeMario said she thoroughly enjoyed the production and thought it was very educational.

“I liked when they role-played the scenes at the end,” DeMario said. “I thought that was really funny.”

At the end of the production, Rix and Terry told the audience to do one thing for the next 24 hours. They wanted everyone to ask for consent whenever they wanted something from someone, even if that was a bottle of water.  This request turned into a couple of skits that left the audience on a high note as the production came to a close.

The goal of “Sex Signals”  was to communicate that sexual relationships can be tricky and sometimes awkward, but it’s necessary to stand up for what you believe in and reach for help if you need it.