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Sexual Assault Awareness Month performance


In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, members of the New Mexico State University Theatre Department, and NMSU’s Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education (WAVE) will present a virtual reading of “Do You Feel Anger?” by Mara Nelson-Greenberg.

The presentation will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, via Zoom link 943 8958 0833. There is no charge to watch, but donations are welcome. All proceeds will benefit the WAVE ’s assault-awareness and prevention programs on-campus, said Theatre Department Associate Professor Larissa Lury, who is directing the production.

The cast includes NMSU theatre professor Claudia Billings and theatre students Joshua Jackson, Riley Merritt, Kaylee Rogers, Yocelin Torres and Lavauskie Tripp. Theatre student Imani Caldwell is the assistant director.

A post-reading discussion panel will include a victims’ advocate from the NMSU Police Department, a campus advocate from La Piñon Sexual Assault Recovery Services of Las Cruces and a WAVE health educator.

NMSU Health Education Senior Specialist Olivia de Leon is co-coordinating the presentation with Lury.

“It's a brilliant play,” Lury said. “It’s a comedy with a punch.  When I first read it, I immediately wanted to share it with people. This is a great chance for audiences to hear it, while also coming together to raise awareness about sexual assault, and harassment.” 

In the play, “Sofia thinks she can teach anyone to empathize,” Lury said. “Her success rate is remarkable. Then, she’s hired as an empathy coach for a debt collection agency, where the employees have a hard time even naming an emotion, and where she hears stories about muggings in the office kitchen and an employee who’s disappeared into the women’s bathroom, and her confidence starts to unravel.  ‘Do You Feel Anger?’ uses absurdity and unsettling comedy to unpack the uncomfortable dynamics of everyday interactions. Can she establish a culture that makes all feel safe and welcome? At what cost?”

Audiences should be aware that the play contains adult language and themes, Lury said, and also may include triggering references for survivors of assault.