The Christ Church Youth Program was offered the unique opportunity to partner with YWCA for an event on February 27, 2018. The event will feature a presentation by The Looking In Theatre, which is a program of the Greater Hartford Academy of Arts and is the recipient of the 2017 Katherine Hepburn Award given by the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The Looking in Theatre presents a series of short dramatic scenes followed by a discussion in which the actors stay character while answering questions from the audience.
Topics they will cover will include acting out what a healthy relationship looks like – open and honest communication; respect for individuality; equal say in a relationship; respect for each other’s boundaries. They will also act out what an unhealthy relationship looks like – a girl or boy trying to exert control over another; inappropriate use of technology, like constantly texting to monitor a partner’s whereabouts or demanding to share passwords; putting their boyfriend or girlfriend down and making them feel inadequate; isolating someone from their friends, etc. They will talk about boundaries as it relates to dating relationships.
The goal is to present realistic situations that young people may find themselves in. The topics and language used to portray these situations will utilize the language teens use, which is necessary in order to be as relatable to the teens as possible. Relationships may be portrayed as same sex and/or include people with non-binary gender identities. The purpose is to reenact the reality of what students are facing in a world where the boundary lines are blurry for some who don’t have a strong sense of self, who are confused about how to handle the information coming at them through social media and other media, and for those who may not feel comfortable going to an adult for help.