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What is THE GRAY?

The GRAY is a 20-minute theater script that tackles the issues of sexual assault, consent, bystander intervention, rape myths, trauma, and the road to justice.  The goal of THE GRAY is to spark a dialogue about the topic of sexual violence that empowers community members to affect change.

Created for


find a comprehensive

study guide here!

What is this Toolkit?

 This digital toolkit includes:

  • tips for using THE GRAY in a variety of settings, from a casual classroom reading to a fully mounted production

  • experiences shared by people who have performed THE GRAY

  • helpful suggestions for facilitating a productive dialogue from an informed place, with the goal of educating and brainstorming actionable solutions.

  • a downloadable study guide!

  • resources for those in need of
    and much more!

by Lori Erickson, Artistic Director of The LadyParts Collective

1. Storytelling evokes empathy, and empathy has been proven to motivate collective action.  When narrative immersion causes the release of oxytocin, it makes people more likely to notice social cues, help someone in need, and come together to achieve a common goal. 


2.Negotiating one's individual beliefs in order to create a piece of theater can unite people that hail from different, diverse backgrounds, and that have been exposed to varying levels of gender norms, attitudes and belief systems.  This negotiation produces an end result that is larger than the whole.


3.A theater production has the potential to engage multiple layers of the college community in sexual assault prevention and promote cross-sectional collaboration, both of which are recommended by the Center for Disease Control.  Collaborators could also be found beyond campus in the form of legislators, law enforcement, medical/legal/health professionals, and advocacy groups.  


4. Theater improves the overall environment of a campus community.  A study around a reader's theater project found that it strengthened relationships, made teachers feel less isolated, and made the teaching process rewarding.  Students felt validated and expressed a more positive attitude about their own learning and themselves.


5.The ability to examine and practice behaviors from a performative lens gives participants the opportunity to discover strategies that work for them in a safe environment and to gain confidence in their ability to affect change. 


6. Although in compliance with Title IX, online modules aimed at prevention tend to require an hour or less of a student's time, and can be taken in solitude without any actual interface with the resource centers or Title IX coordinators to whom reports can be made.  Straightforward online training is in compliance with Title IX, but has shown little evidence of success.  


7.  A short play can be paired easily with other strategies for prevention such as a panel discussion, peer-to-peer education, bystander intervention training, and improvisational exercises.


8. Incorporating social influencers and champions within the community into the process of theater-making leverages the power of positive role modeling.  They can lead or participate in post-show discussions, act in the play, volunteer in the front-of-house area, or offer an introduction before the production.  

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