Artemisia Theatre's THE LAKE Set for Reading, Discussion for 'Sexual Assault Awareness Week' at Northwestern, 4/21

Artemisia Theatre's THE LAKE Set for Reading, Discussion for 'Sexual Assault Awareness Week' at Northwestern, 4/21

Two years after its original debut, Artemisia Theatre's The Lake, written by Founding Artistic Director Julie Proudfoot, will be read and discussed on April 21 free of charge for Sexual Assault Awareness Week at Northwestern University in Harris Hall, Room 107. The performance is at 6:30 PM and directions can be found by visiting

The Lake will be performed as a staged reading, directed by Barbara Zahora and featuring actors Julie Proudfoot, Diane Dorsey and Fred Stone. Based on personal experiences, Proudfoot depicts growing up with an alcoholic father. Proudfoot brings light to abusive behavior and domestic violence, a subject where most cases are never reported to the police or displayed in the public eye.

Proudfoot is not alone in growing up in a violent home. Each year, more than 3 million children witness violence in their homes, according to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). "His violent behavior dominated our household on and off from the time I was 11," she says.

The Lake is a realistic example of domestic violence and its severe impact on interpersonal relationships and society's tendency to place the blame on the victim. Victims and children who witness violence in their household are at a higher risk for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. But hope wins out in The Lake, due mainly to the resilient love between mother and child. An element that Proudfoot believes grounds the play in reality.

"Domestic violence as a personal experience is deeply complex," Proudfoot says. "It's often dramatized through a black and white lens, but it is not always a clear-cut issue." In collaboration with other women's groups, Artemisia plans to tour a full production of The Lake to diverse Chicago communities to raise awareness about domestic violence and advocate for long lasting solutions.

The Whiplash is focused on drawing attention to gender inequity in Chicago and beyond. Our mission is to raise awareness of ongoing sexism, street harassment, health and safety in the LGBTQ community, and victim-blaming. We strive to provide resources for those affected, as well as action for prevention. To learn more, visit

Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre produces female-centered plays that challenge the perception of women. To learn more and for information on Artemisia's current season, visit

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