The Good Victim Program
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The Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA)
The Good Victim
Written & Directed by Gloria Oladipo
Friday, April 30, 7:30 p.m.
Content Warning: sexual assault, racism
Reserve your free ticket at schwartztickets.com. A link will be emailed to you prior to showtime.
Letter from the Chair
Dear community members,
In a more typical year, you would be reading this note in a physical program while gathering in a public space. As you well know, there is nothing typical about this year, and so this note must also depart from the conventions that have tended to govern it in the past.
Indeed, what we were intending as a year’s worth of programming at this time last spring has been radically reimagined. I am proud of students, staff, and faculty who have responded with inventiveness and imagination to making virtual work in socially distanced ways. I am proud that the majority of this work is centering perspectives on systemic racism and white supremacist ideology, of which the Department of Performing and Media Arts must take urgent stock, for which we must be accountable, and whose dismantling we must actively undertake. I am proud that numerous BIPOC guest artists and scholars are visiting classes and making public presentations via Zoom. And I am proud that all of this activity is free to our publics, who now more than ever need access to art and intellection that we hope will sustain us through the anxieties and exhaustions of our current political and historical circumstances.
I look forward to a time when we may all convene again in the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts and communally enjoy film, dance, theater, performance art, installation, public lectures, and more. In the meantime, I wish everyone reading this note physical health and emotional and spiritual well-being.
Letter from the Director
Thank you for coming to the first time reading of “The Good Victim.” This play is an ongoing work-in-progress that I am so excited and grateful to share with you. While I miss the in-person energy of theatre, presenting this via Zoom is an amazing opportunity to share this content with a far reaching audience.
If you have entered the space for a clean approach to the complicated topic of sexual violence on college campuses, I’m (not) sorry to say that this is not that play. I have done my best to surgically remove some of the clichés and niceties that can emerge when we tell these stories. However, if you’re interested in a funny, sometimes outrageous, but truthful depiction of how sexual violence can change an ecosystem, you have found the right performance.
Even as we see more material emerge about sexual violence, Black people—notably Black women—are often left out of that conversation. Our rich experiences are seldom captured. “The Good Victim” is a spotlight directly on how instances of sexual violence especially affect Black women, especially here at Cornell University. We follow Nia King, a junior at Cornell, as she tries to demand justice and accountability, even as her methods of getting those things become increasingly erratic. While “The Good Victim” is a work for fiction, it plays on the very real stakes, obligations, and feelings that can emerge when trust and safety is broken in a relationship and in a community.
I want to thank the PMA department for allowing me to present my work to the greater community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your flexibility and help has been greatly appreciated.
I want to thank my amazing cast, my amazing, incredible, energetic cast, for all the work they have put in to make this happen. They have been a hardworking, intelligent, emotionally present group, completely emerging in the material. And, trust me, they can act. Learn their names and feature them in all your upcoming performances!
I want to give a very big thanks to those who helped me get this show cast, notably Carley Robinson and PMA Professor Beth Milles. As PMA still struggles with featuring and casting Black performers, these two people, as well as a network of Black peers, helped connect me to the actors you will see featured today.
Finally, I want to thank the people and places that helped cement and have encouraged me to embrace my love of theatre and playwriting. Without them, I would be a Computer Science major right now. The Steppenwolf Theatre Young Adult Council in Chicago, IL; The Public Theatre in NYC; my playwriting instructor, Professor Aoise Stratford (who is brilliant and so, so encouraging. Thank you!); and my POSSE Scholarship mentor, Professor Emeritus & Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow Paul Sawyer (who is one of my favorite people to talk about art and the world with. Over the past 4 years, he has been so encouraging and giving in his thoughts about my writing. Thank you Paul!).
Please enjoy a reading of “The Good Victim.” Lean in with hearts and mind open. We are all so glad you’re here.
Creative Team Profiles
PMA Production Staff
Director of Productions & Events: Pamela Lillard
Technical Director: Fritz Bernstein
Stage Manager: Howard Klein
Props Coordinator: Tim Ostrander
Master Electrician: Steven Blasberg
Costume Shop Supervisor: Lisa Boquist
Computer Support: Chris Christensen
Media Assistant: Randy Hendrickson
Communications & Events Coordinator: Youngsun Palmer
Box Office Manager: Julie Tibbits
Communications Assistant: Aurora Ricardo
Partner Support: Kitchen Theatre Company
Kitchen Theatre Company
The Journey to 30