Students reflect on sexual violence, healing through theater


By Steve Nakata, Administrative Services

PULLMAN, Wash. – Ten Washington State University students will take the stage this week to share their thoughts and experiences related to sexual violence – a hot topic on college campuses across the nation. The free, public performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, March 25-27, in Daggy Hall’s Wadleigh Theatre.

Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse and WSU’s Green Dot Program will have tables in the theater lobby before each show. Representatives from each organization will participate in a panel discussion at the conclusion of the performance.

“Colleges and universities are seeing an increase in reported cases of sexual violence,” said Marcela Pattinson, assistant director for community relations and outreach for the WSU Office of Multicultural Student Services. “This production creates a way to talk about this issue.”

Community empowerment

Actor Jenna Papague said because the project uses original student writings, it offers the community a sense of realness and encouragement.

“I hope this project can help people cope and hopefully empower them,” she said. “The main message I want the audience to gain is no matter how difficult the hardship, there will always be a way to overcome it.”

The students are cast members in The Performance Project 2015. The Performance Project is a WSU program that helps students gain life skills such as writing, public speaking and building self-confidence through participation in theater.

Some cast members will host an informational table 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday, March 25, on the Terrell Mall.

Therapeutic for students

Brian Linnenkamp, the production’s sound designer, believes participation in The Performance Project has been therapeutic for many of the students and is helping them heal from their own experiences with sexual violence.

“This show is all about the performers giving themselves to the cause, providing a voice for millions of voices that feel silenced by a society that is, for the most part, oblivious to the issue,” he said.

“This topic is raw and painfully real, but going through sexual assault does not define someone or make them any less of a person,” said stage manager Emma Gleghorn.

For more information, contact Mary Trotter, WSU Performing Arts, at


Marcela Pattinson, WSU Office for Access, Equity and Achievement, 509-335-7326,
Steve Nakata, WSU Administrative Services communications, 509-335-1774,