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Play aims to teach teens about consent

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A play coming to Grande Prairie is talking to kids about the topic of consent. Concrete Theatre will be bringing their play to northern Alberta. The play follows a young couple in the aftermath of a “confusing” sexual encounter.

Playwright and Artistic Director Mieko Ouchi says consent is topic that adults can struggle to explain to children and this show can help open the door to some important conversations.

“So we thought, isn’t it important to speak to young people when they are teenagers and they are just starting to think about these topics and give them some really good information early so they can hopefully make good decisions as they move forward.”

The play “Consent” is meant for students aged 13 and older. Ouchi says parents who may have concerns about the subject matter are comforted to hear the show doesn’t solely focus on “the encounter.”

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“I think once teachers and parents know that, they read the script or they hear a full description of it, they feel very comfortable with the topic. I know we’ve had lots of parents attend the show and we are hearing from educators that it is very appropriate for kids.”

“It’s really more about what do you do if something happens to you,” Ouchi continued, “How do you reach out for help? What are safe places to go? And also just really building on that really basic idea of respectful relationships between two people.”

The show has representatives from the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton and the Compass Centre for Sexual Wellness that travels with the production. The sexual health educators help facilitate a conversation and a Q&A. Local organizations are also invited to be a part of the presentation.

“Consent” will be in Paddle Prairie March 26 and then is scheduled for a March 27 performance at Charles Spencer School. Ouchi says they are still looking at additional performances in the region.

“Consent” and Concrete Theatre’s other play “Paper Song” which is mean for kids aged five to 12 and deals with topics like acceptance and respect will be performed more that 30 times through the rest of this school year.

The province supported the project with an $80,000 grant from the Status of Women Ministry.

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