The Aegis Project has the potential to be a very wide-reaching,
theatrical attempt to subdue the epidemic of violence that terrorizes
women across college campuses nationwide. Live theatre has the power to
inspire, encourage, support, discuss and expose all sorts of ideas,
issues and people.
The primary goal of The Aegis Project is to raise rape awareness on college campuses in Western New York by touring a production of Bill Mastrosimone's play, Extremities, across as many college campuses in WNY as possible. Extremities gives us a young woman, Marjorie, who is attacked in her home by a would-be
rapist, Raul, and manages to turn the tables on him, tying him up in her
fireplace. Raul convinces Marjorie that there's no evidence that he tried to rape her, so he'll never be convicted. And next time, he'll just come back and make it worse. That's when her roommates come home to discover the attacker bound with
cords, belts and other household items. At this point, Marjorie is convinced she will be safe in solidarity with her roommates. But she quickly discovers that is not the case.
I am seeking funding because this touring production will be offered to any colleges and universities in the area we can reach free of charge, both to the school and students. This is so that some secondary goals of The Aegis Project may be possible:
-The students of each campus hold a rape awareness week particular to their respective schools following the performance of Extremities. The thought behind this is that the play will open up channels of dialogue about things that were not discussed before, and then that dialogue can be furthered by the students themselves. This ensures that they don't just experience The Aegis Project, but participate as well!
-A student organization (or collaborating organizations) on each campus will stand at the door of the theater prior to and after Extremities to collect donations for a battered womens' shelter or rape services center of their choice in the WNY area.
-Build a web of support for students in the college communities so that they understand they have every right to be safe where they live, and that their bodies are their own. Rape is something that occurs far more often than it is reported, and oftentimes, the victims do not know what resources of support they have access to. The Aegis Project can help draw attention to these deficits in support through the intense nature of Extremities.
I want to note that all of the funds being requested here are to produce the play and tour it. These secondary goals of The Aegis Project are something we hope to accomplish by inspiring and motivating the student populations to take action.
Live theatre is collaboration of the highest order - everybody needs somebody else. So there are a lot of working parts in The Aegis Project. The people who build the set, the stage manager to direct the traffic, the actors who perform on-stage, the costume, set and light designers, the director, etc. I'm going to direct the project myself, but I need a lot of help to get this project off the ground, particularly from the actors and stage manager, who have to spend a month of their time rehearsing, and then a month (or more) of tour the production. Also, programs need to be printed, the set needs to be moved by truck from location to location, posters need to be designed and printed...there is a lot involved. But it is for a cause that you can be proud to have supported. And not only supported, but you will be able to tell people that you were with The Aegis Project from day one. I very much look forward to meeting each supporter of The Aegis Project, shaking your hand, and thanking you for being there from the beginning!