#healmetoo festival home > OPENING: NYC Teens
#HealMeToo Festival Opening Night: NYC Teens Take The Stage
Young women and men from NYC high schools headlined our Opening Night, followed by a Teen-Facilitated Talkback:
The teens of GoodCapp Arts performed excerpts from playwright and director Katie Cappiello's widely-toured productions, unpacking topics such as rape culture, consent, masculinity, and slut-shaming.
See videos of GoodCapp’s work below and hear about the healing process behind creating these plays from Katie Cappiello on #HealMeToo Podcast Episode 2, interviewed together with The Moth’s Executive Producer, Sarah Austin Jenness.
Students from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School’s Smash Arts Productions performed excerpts of their original movement storytelling work (video below), loosely based on the Brock Turner case, created in collaboration with Education at Roundabout Theatre Company.
A Post-Show Talkback led by Teen Eye Magazine editor, Em Odesser, with Elise Schuster, co-founder of okayso.co, stirred up conversation about the most important topics left out of Sex Ed – consent and pleasure.
About Em Odesser, Teen Talkback Facilitator
Em Odesser (she/her/hers) is the eighteen year old editor-in-chief and co-creator of Teen Eye Magazine, a publication completely run by and for creators under 19 with a circulation of over 950,000 readers in every continent except Antarctica (until she can manage to teach penguins how to read). In 2017, she was named one of Vice's 6 Young Activists Who Made History, and is based in NYC where she continues to organize her generation around issues including SEX POSITIVITY AND EDUCATION, CURRICULUM REFORM, MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES, AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS. She has been awarded 22 Scholastic Writing Awards including two National Silver Keys, was featured in the bestselling publication Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies), hosted the four-part series on Vice "18 With Issues," which focused on teen voting patterns around the country, and collaborated as a consultant with platforms including YouTube and Scholastic. Em is on her gap year before she starts college, serving as the executive assistant for Sad Girls Club, working on social media and event coordination, and contributing to publications including Teen Vogue, Salty World, Broadly, W Magazine, Rookie Magazine, and NPR.
About Talkback Panelist Elise Schuster of okayso
Elise Schuster, MPH, is a sexuality educator with 15 years of experience in pleasure-based sex education and youth development. Elise is is the co-founder and CEO of okayso, an online platform that is revolutionizing sex ed by connecting young adults to experts they can't reach any other way. Elise has a masters in public health from Columbia University with a specialization in sexuality and health and spent many years working at Babeland and The Door - a major youth development agency in New York City. Elise is a Startup Leadership Program Fellow and a recipient of the InnovationNext grant funding innovative approaches to teen pregnancy prevention.
About the JKO High School Student Production
Leanne Bazan, Xavier Chavez
About the JKO Production:
“Through the I’s” was created and performed by students from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School’s Smash Arts Productions under the direction of their teacher Elisa De Gregorio as part of a Roundabout Theatre Company residency with Teaching Artists Jason Jacobs, theater, and Nick Moore, sound design. The dance was created and performed by the Advanced Dance class under the direction of their teacher Abigail Agresta-Stratton.
Through the lens of of one story, based on an adaptation of the Brock Turner case, students explore diverse perspectives on sexual assault and rape culture.
Education programs at Roundabout are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
About the GoodCapp Arts Production:
The following pieces, written by Katie Cappiello, were performed under the direction of Charlotte Arnoux.
“Deep Throat” - excerpt from Now That We’re Men. Performed by Caleb Grandoit, Rayshawn Richardson, and Alphonso Jones II
“Naked Truth” - developed in association with Equality Now. Performed by Lola Blackman.
“Andrew Confessional” from Now That We’re Men. Performed by Jordan Eliot.
“Evan Confessional” from Now That We’re Men. Performed by Alphonso Jones II.*
“10 to 15 minutes” from SLUT. Performed by Lexa Krebs.
“Nick Confessional” from Now That We’re Men. Performed by Luke Hicks.
*these actors appeared courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.