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Mills Players confront rape, torture in new production

You’ve seen the intriguing black posters around campus. “How far would you go to find the truth?” they ask, followed by a place: Lisser, and a date: Nov. 13, 2008. These are
the teasers for the Mills Player’s Fall show Extremities, a play by William Mastrosimone, first performed on Broadway in 1982.

“At its most basic,” Kat Weller-Fahy, senior and director of the play explained, “Extremities is about rape, justice, and revenge.”

A woman, Marjorie, is assaulted in her apartment and she turns the tables on her attacker, torturing him to force a confession. During the torture, her roommates come home and display different views of rape held by American society.

“It’s about what a person is willing to do to find out the truth,” Weller-Fahy continued, elaborating on the poster phrase. “And if in that process, you become what you’re fighting, is it worth it?”

Marjorie has been played by Farrah Fawcett and Susan Sarandon to great critical acclaim. Weller-Fahy said the Mills production’s actors are up to the task of filling the professionals’ shoes.

“My actors are fabulous,” she said. “They’re troopers. There are only four characters in the show and every line is important. The actors are really making the characters real and come to life on the stage.”

Taylor Laney, sophomore, plays Marjorie. “I’ve enjoyed playing Marjorie,” she said. “It’s been fun. Well, not fun-it’s been challenging, draining-but in a good way.”

Weller-Fahy is getting field work credit toward her major in Women’s Studies.

“I’m a survivor, I know a lot of survivors, and I plan to work professionally with victims and this show is important to all of that,” she said.

After first reading the play at 15, Weller-Fahy has wanted to produce it herself.

“It has been very cathartic,” she said. “So many survivors would give a lot to do that to someone who violated them that way. I hope it will be a positive, powerful experience for the audience.”

No one under 13 will be admitted and an adult must accompany children under 16.

“This show has a history of people walking out after the first scene,” she said, “and we’re prepared for that, but if you can make it through that first, most intense part, it will be worth it.”

Danielle Kaput, sophomore and “stage manager extraordinaire” according to Weller-Fahy, agreed that the show is an emotional experience.

“I cried the first time I saw a full rehearsal,” she said.

There will be pamphlet resources for rape victims and friends of rape victims available in the lobby and there will be a question-and-answer segment after every performance.

“I hope people will leave feeling like they’ve witnessed something of great importance,” said Laney. “There should be more discussion about sexual assault on campus and I think this show will foster that.”