A free play for year 10 students to discuss domestic violence and combating bystander behaviour will arrive in Ballarat in August.
You the Man will portray five male characters as they deal with cycles of violence, followed by a panel discussion on relationship violence, lead by Ballarat service providers.
You the Man’s director Suzanne Chaundry, who earlier this year directed Tristan and Isolde for the Melbourne Opera, said the play had only become more relevant over its five-year run.
“What drew me to it is instead of it being a piece which deals primarily with violence against women being about the victim or the perpetrator, it’s actually about what the bystander can do in those circumstances,” she said. “It is exactly the sort of thing that’s been brought into the spotlight by the #MeToo campaign, and it’s a very positive experience and really does stimulate talk and conversation.”
Ms Chaundry said the play became “active” for the audience, as they consider choices made around sexual assault and then engage in a “a really excellent facilitated discussion” with local support providers.
“Year 10 and even younger, it’s where these behaviours start to get modeled. People can start to recognise what they might consider as being inappropriate behaviour,” she said.
“The majority of people who this play will touch is people that have been aware of situations and haven’t know what the right thing to do is, when to intervene, and who to go to.”
Local secondary schools can sign-up for free to see You the Man between August 6 to 16, with registrations closing on July 21.
You the Man is supported by City of Ballarat, Highlands LLEN, Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault, Ballarat Health Services, headspace Ballarat, School Focussed Youth Services, Ballarat Community Health, White Ribbon campaign, Central Highlands Community Legal and Victoria Police.
For more information, contact (03) 5320 5593.