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Thursday, April 26, 2012

OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY


L to R Isadora Duncan, Azucena Villaflor and Bea Arthur

April 18, 2012

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA:
Dear Diary,
What a whirlwind tour to the South! We left the jungle of New York City in the early morning and got off the banana boat that afternoon to perform “Silence is Violence” at Old Dominion University. The theme of Old Dominion, we decided, was “labyrinth” judging by how massive the campus, buildings and dining options were. Whew! Thank goodness for military escorts.

Gretchen, from the campus Women's Center, welcomed us and provided us with space to rehearse and enjoy our Quiznos. There was still a lot of activity on campus, especially given that classes wrap up in only a week. After our rehearsal (and subs) we made our way to the venue for that evenings performance. “Silence is Violence” involves a lot of improvisation of different scenes which highlight options for protecting yourself in dating/social situations but also some great examples of how to be an active bystander. For several of these scenes, we work with a student volunteer to act them out with us. We were very lucky to have the creative, enthusiastic Josh joining us on the stage. His improv was off-the-cuff, authentic AND really funny!

Me, Bea! 
 Once show time rolled around, we were introduced by our host, Joanne, from the Women's Center who is doing some great work to highlight April as Sexual Assault Awareness month. Our audience was moderately sized but big on appreciation. I always enjoy the diversity of our audiences: women, men, college-aged (and sometimes younger) through the 70-somethings. In this crowd, we not only had students and professionals from the college, but also folks who work at the YWCA, the local women's resource center. They appreciated that we shared important statistics on sexual assault while at the same time having lots to laugh about in our show-stopping numbers. Our improvised scenes were the hit of the night and Josh more than rose to the occasion, engaging the crowd both in the scenarios during the show and after the show when hocking our t-shirts and posters. Thanks, man! 

THE FABULOUS JOSH 

And thank YOU, Old Dominion University!
Anchors Aweigh!!- Bea