Does An Erection Imply Consent? David Heron's AGAINST HIS WILL Seeks Answers
Does an erection imply consent?
This is one of the central questions posed in playwright David Heron's provocative legal drama Against His Will.
Timothy D Stickney will direct a cast that includes previously announced Tony Award nominee Pascale Armand, along with Nixon Cesar, Nyanda Cammock, Dianne Dixon, Marsha Ann Hay, Candice McKoy, David Stallings , Carlene Taylor and Karl O Brian Williams.
Set in modern day Jamaica, Against His Will is the story of Daniel Bryan, a young computer salesman who claims that his female boss had sex with him without his consent. When he decides to file charges against her, the stage is set for a dramatic legal battle that erupts in controversy across the Caribbean nation, creating a media frenzy and shaking the very foundations of the island's judicial system.
Although the play and its subject matter is creating considerable buzz in the current atmosphere of the #METOO MOVEMENT, the irony is that the play is not a new one. Heron wrote the script over fifteen years ago and the play has been successfully produced in Jamaica, Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere- everywhere it seems, says the playwright - except the USA.
"The original Jamaican production was a huge success," Heron recalls, " And we toured regionally in the USA, playing to predominantly Caribbean audiences in some parts of South Florida and the New York Tri state area. Subsequent productions in other countries were also very successful, but the play has never had a mainstream American production. That's part of the reason for this reading- because interest in the subject matter has soared due to the climate we are now in."
Fans of the original production who attend Monday's reading and any future productions may notice some slight differences to what they remember.
"I have made some tweaks and updates to a few socio-cultural references, to make them more relevant to today. But the storyline and essence of the show are absolutely intact. The biggest adjustments have to do with language. The original script had generous amounts of Jamaican dialect . I knew that in order to appeal to a broader audience I had to find a way to balance the Jamaican English with standard English , to make it easier on the ear of non Jamaicans , while retaining the Caribbean authenticity. This will be the first time that the updated version will be seen or heard anywhere, so I'm looking forward to hearing what the audience has to say."
Heron admits that for him, the most eagerly anticipated aspect of Monday evening's presentation is the audience discussion that will follow, to be hosted by actress Aixa Kendrick.
" I'm really intrigued by how far ahead of its time Against His Will now seems to have been. When it was first done years ago, many who saw it treated it like a comedy. The premise of the story seemed too bizarre to be real at the time. But here we are in 2018 at a social and cultural tipping point where we are asking questions about what constitutes consent, what exactly is sexual harassment ,and what do we do when men step up and say ME TOO as well? For that reason, I suspect that the talk back between the audience and the artists is going to be extremely interesting."
Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant and Grill will sponsor a post show Caribbean Cocktail reception following the reading and talk back.
Admission to the event is free.
The Billie Holiday Theatre is located at Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton Street, Brooklyn New York, 11216.
Further information is available by calling 424-256-6574.