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Studio 58 wants to start a nationwide conversation about porn

New production Incognito Mode places pornography on the forefront

Langara students stop to take a look at Studio 58's newest production Incognito Mode: A Play About Porn. Photo by Adam Levi
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Reported by Adam Levi

Langara’s Studio 58 has developed Incognito Mode: A Play About Porn as part of a larger $6.3-million initiative with a main goal in mind: to start a nationwide conversation about sex.

On the 27 of September, A Play About Porn addresses the issues of how today’s young generation is affected by readily-accessible pornography on the internet.

It took months for sex health educators Kenji Maeda and Kristen Gilbert to get the actors feeling comfortable about telling their own stories in front of a crowd. Maeda and Gilbert said they had to figure out how to make A Play About Porn not too uncomfortable for an audience to sit through.

“Our role was creating safety, for sure,” said Gilbert.“We were also responsible for filling the gaps in knowledge that the cast and the other creators had.”

The play, put pornography in the forefront with the actors portraying personal real-life events, experiences they’ve had dealing with issues of sexuality, consent and even pornography.

Kelsey Wavey, an actress in A Play About Porn explained that it took time for her to realize how varied people’s views about porn were.

“It’s been such a learning journey for me,” said Wavey

“I think I’ve learned a lot about listening to others and understanding that there are other journeys out there. Everyone has their own positive and negative feelings about [porn].”

Jashanpreet Kaur, a Langara student who had not yet seen the show believes that the production can make a noticeable impact on how we communicate.

“I think watching this play could make us feel more comfortable with each other,” said Kaur. “I think it could make us not feel so shy around everyone.”

A Play About Porn is part of seven-year project named IMPACTS, led by project director, Dr. Shaheen Shariff. The projects aim is to address sexual violence on university campuses across Canada and globally. It’s Dr. Shariff’s work with her colleagues that earned the millions in donations and grants.

The play ends October 14 at Studio 58, but a portion of the donated money will be used to take A Play About Porn to other college campuses around the country.

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