by Anthony Krueger
On Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Aquinas Theatre, Sharyon Culberson and Phillip Sheridan presented Sex Signals, a program sponsored by Mount Saint Mary College’s (MSMC) Culture of Life campaign. Sex Signals is an improv show designed to teach students about sexual consent, dating stereotypes, and the misconceptions of dating through an interactive and comedic acting style.
Culberson and Sheridan worked together to act out their “typical” party scenario as well as other scenarios given to them by the audience.
“I liked how they said they were at a house party or a bar,” said Senior Kerry Hogan. “It made it more real for the students of the college.”
The program offered four scenes of a man and woman interacting at a party. Audience members were provided with stop cards to hold up whenever they thought the scene should stop for any reason.
“We had stop cards, but they seemed to ignore them,” said Senior Allison Cowan. “Later on in the program, however, they explained their reasoning for ignoring the cards.” More often than not, the word “stop” is uttered in a situation and nothing is done. The actors wanted to make the situations as real as possible for the audience to see how they would react.
“There is sex in everything,” said Culberson. “Part of our goal is to emphasize consent and shatter the illusions surrounding sex.”
Senior Patrick Creegan said he liked that the program was about an hour. “It was long enough to make a point, but not too long to lose my interest,” said Creegan.
After the program, the performers were asked three simple questions: How long have you been doing this? What does it mean to you? Can you describe Sex Signals in a few words? For Culberson this would be her sixth year, while Sheridan said he was still in his first.
“The program is meant to inform, entertain and help our audiences,” said Sheridan and Culberson. “We want them to understand everything that comes with consent.”
The basis of Sex Signals can be deduced to the idea that consent is key and an individual should go from being a bystander to the person who steps in.
For those who attended, or those who may have missed the program, there are follow-up discussions scheduled for the upcoming week.
If you have any questions regarding Sex Signals or the content discussed in the program, Student Activities, Campus Ministry, and the Counseling Center encourage you to reach out to their departments.