Opening in Agassiz Theatre tonight, “Yes or No?” promises to be a provocative performance. Sponsored by the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and the Harvard College Women’s Center, “Yes or No?” invites the audience to transcend passive spectatorship and engage with the show itself. The performance is experimental in its structure and does not have a traditional script—instead, it is a collection of different social experiences at Harvard, each presented in a slightly different way.
“There isn’t one clear answer to sexual assault at Harvard or one clear experience of it,” facilitator Bex H. Kwan ’14 says. “[That’s] why the show is called ‘Yes or No?’”
OSAPR traditionally organizes a performance every February. Last year, the organization sponsored the play “The Vagina Monologues,” but this year Kwan wanted to collaborate with OSAPR to create a show that gives voice to students challenging social expectations at Harvard.
“In the fall there was a lot of energy around sexual assault in general,” Kwan says. In continuation of this conversation, the performance encourages dialogue but does not center on conveying a specific message. Rather, its ambiguity is meant to ask the audience members to consider their feelings about the social scene at Harvard. “It isn’t linear in any way. I think every audience that enters will have a different experience of the show,” Kwan says.
The show uses a variety of different art forms and draws on the collaborators’ diverse talents. “It’s very interdisciplinary; there’s dance, poetry, singing, theater,” collaborator Braden M. Thue ’16 says.
“You will not only be an audience member.... we are inviting you to share a space with us,” says collaborator Cassandra E. Euphrat-Weston ’14. Though the material is rather unconventional, Kwan encourages any student to come see the show and engage in the vital conversation about attitudes towards sex, gender, rape, expectations, and relationships at Harvard.