September has become the #MeToo movement’s defining month. Bill Cosby recently received a sentence of 3 to 10 years in prison for the drugging and sexual assault of Andrea Constand. And as I write this, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations of sexual misconduct and attempted rape against the Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Under intense public scrutiny, survivors of sexual assault are often asked to revisit painful, traumatic memories with crystal clear recollection and foolproof evidence about a violent act that, by its very nature, is manipulative and deceitful.
As in Congress, so too in the arts: the scales of justice are weighed against survivors of sexual assault. That’s why American Theatre magazine’s thorough investigation of sexual assault allegations in the performing arts is so important. In a field where intense recreations of violence and intimacy are often part of the job description, victims of sexual misconduct are often disregarded or otherwise face effective banishment from the theater community’s predominantly male-run list of organizations. American Theatre’s entire September issue is devoted to investigating the #MeToo movement in the performing arts. Below is a recording of my conversation with the magazine’s senior editor, Diep Tran, wherein we discuss the major allegations facing major regional theaters in Houston, Minneapolis, New Haven, and beyond.
A special thanks to Miserable Chillers & Sun Kin for the music to this week’s episode, which features their latest album, Adoration Room. You can listen to that and more at miserablechillers.bandcamp.com and other streaming services.