‘Good Kids’ raises awareness on sexual violence

Event Review

Shannon Gallacher, Community Arts Reporter


CSUSM’s production of “Good Kids” handled a hefty issue, but also dazzled and educated audiences with spectacular acting.

Our very own theater program put on a new production from Oct. 14 to Oct. 18 titled “Good Kids” written by Naomi Iizuka.

The play is based on a true story that took place in Steubenville, Ohio in 2012. The story  involved a few members of the town’s loved football team who raped a young, intoxicated woman, then posted pictures and videos of the attack onto their social media accounts.

The topic of the play was heavy, as sexual violence may be something that hits home with many men and women. Members of society can, at times, be uncomfortable discussing it. However, “Good Kids,” under the direction of the program’s Associate Professor Judy Bauerlein, tackled the sensitive subject matter in a way that was entertaining, enlightening and provoked the thoughts of the audience.

Going into the show, I’m going to admit that I was nervous because I wasn’t sure how the scenes would play out. But the production was simple. Each actor portrayed a different high school stereotype that revealed the way some high school students, parents and teachers saw and treated sexual violence.

In the play, the assault was ignored and the blame was placed on the young intoxicated woman for wearing a short skirt and putting herself in that situation.

The play also tackled the issue of entitlement among the teenage boys on the beloved and well-supported football team. The boys were constantly saying that their actions would ruin their lives if it reached authorities, but no one showed concern for what the young woman had gone through.

One brave young woman saw the injustice and contacted the police, forcing the teens and their parents to see the consequences of rape – for both the perpetrator and the victim.

“Good Kids” offered a closer look at rape culture, pointing out its flaws and gracefully called out the unfair treatment of women in rape cases. Overall, “Good Kids” was a spectacular production on an extremely important issue that we as a society should all be more concerned with.

The CSUSM School of Arts will follow up with another production titled “Stop Kiss,” directed by Jason Heil from Nov. 18 through Nov. 22.