The Interference Review - Is there Consent?

The exploration of a timely but thorny topic, THE INTERFERENCE won the Scotsman Fringe First Award and a Broadway Baby Bobby Award for dealing with rape on college campuses in a compassionate and thoughtful way. In association with Pepperdine Scotland, the Rogue Machine brings this tale about one of today’s hot button issues to the Fringe Festival for a limited run.

Alexandria Garrett and Katelynn Kutipher - Photo by Calvin Alagot

Set against the backdrop of what has become a sexual assault epidemic on campuses worldwide, THE INTERFERENCE follows the story of a university rape victim who struggles to be heard. Frustration builds as multiple socio-cultural prejudices emerge in this he said/she said narrative: “She asked for it…look at what she was wearing;” he’s a nice guy and school star athlete and doesn’t need to force anyone;” “she was drinking and maybe using drugs;” “it was consensual, but afterwards she changed her mind;” “she didn’t tell me to stop;” and on and on. Every rationale to distort, cover up, or ignore a campus rape by a local jock athlete comes into play.

Mallory Erwin, Alexandria Garrett, and Parker Johnson - Photo by Calvin Alagot

It all comes down to consent, and one survivor paddles uphill all the way as she tries to bring reality and justice into play. Playwright Lynda Radley has done a bang-up task of making the story real and bringing it home for college students. The enthusiastic and skilled cast brings youth and commitment to the stage. The large ensemble includes Chris Bozzini, Dakota Dickerson, William Craig, Alexandria Garrett, Brittany King, and many other young talents. Director Cathy Thomas-Grant manages to coordinate some very tricky scenes; she makes directing look deceptively easy.

Ensemble - Photo by Calvin Alagot

In many ways, this is an educational foray into society’s views about campus rape. It seems poised for production in many a college campus as an awareness builder. And well it should be. When education is also entertaining, the message will be heard.

Dakota Dickerson and Alexandria Garrett - Photo by Calvin Alagot

THE INTERFERENCE runs through 6/8/17, with performances at 8 p.m. on June 6 and 7 and at 6 p.m. on June 8. The Rogue Machine in the Met Theatre is located at 1089 N. Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Tickets are $12. For information and reservations, go online.

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