THE EIGHT: REINDEER MONOLOGUES (2011)
Everything about this process has been an experience I'll never forget. Whether it was the inspired auditions back in August; or that myself and six of my actors are still under the legal drinking age; or the fact that at least half of the rehearsals for this production were held via Skype – this show has been a theatrical endeavor unlike anything else I’ve known.
I first came across The Eight last December, during my sophomore year at Marymount. It was an uproarious and startling evening that allowed each of its actors the chance to really shine; to tackle something meaty, something visceral; all the while speaking to issues that don’t receive nearly enough attention.
According to the Department of Justice, “…between 41 and 48% of victims of sexual violence were undertaking activities at or around their homes at the time of the incident.” Likewise, the DOJ reports that, “In 2005-10, most rape or sexual assault victims (78%) knew the offender”, that “about half of rape or sexual assault victimizations were committed by an offender age 30 or older”, and also that, “white males committed the majority of sexual violence.”
The Eight challenges us to look at the familiar and to question it; to listen to women and survivors of abuse; and to remember that nothing nor no one – not even a supposed saint – should be thought of as sacred or beyond just reproach.
It is my hope that conversations surrounding sexual assault become more normalized – and if you or anyone you know is a victim of such abuse, please call the Vera House here in Syracuse, any time – day or night – at 315-468-3260.
Jordan Russell Westfall