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Edmonton’s Concrete Theatre Society stages play on sexual consent

L-R: Toby Rabinowitz, Compass Centre for Sexual Wellness, Minister Stephanie McLean, Mieko Ouchi, artistic director and playwright, Concrete Theatre Society, Mary-Ellen Perley, general manager, Concrete Theatre

Minister Stephanie McLean announced funding for an original, one-act production called “Consent” to educate students about gender equality and healthy relationships.

“Theatre and story-telling are powerful ways to connect with teens, to learn about positive relationships and become respectful partners. I am proud to partner with Concrete Theatre on this creative approach to preventing sexual violence in Alberta.”

Stephanie McLean, Minister of Status of Women

Concrete Theatre is working with Compass Centre for Sexual Wellness and the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton to develop companion materials, including a study guide for teachers. The guide features writing activities, drama exercises and pre- and post-play discussion questions. It also provides students access to additional web, phone and in-person resources from the partner organizations.

The play will tour schools in February and March 2018, reaching students ages 12 to 18. The grant allows Concrete Theatre to stage up to 65 performances, reaching up to 22,750 students in large and small communities.

“This play is a unique opportunity to create discussion around sexual decision-making, setting boundaries and respect. By asking students to walk in the shoes of characters like themselves, they will be able to explore real life scenarios, learn, test ideas and build connections with their peers, parents and educators.”

Mieko Ouchi, artistic director and playwright, Concrete Theatre Society

“We are thrilled to play a role in educating teens about respectful, healthy relationships. Our staff attend every play to ensure students’ questions are answered and to offer additional help and resources.”

Mary Jane James, executive director, Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton

About Status of Women grants

Status of Women’s first-ever grants program funds 34 innovative projects by not-for-profit and charitable organizations for a total of $1.5 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Successful projects, such as Concrete Theatre’s play, work to end violence against women and girls, help women get good jobs and training and increase the number of women in leadership roles.