Department of Theater and Dance

Director's Note - The Sex Habits of American Women

A Word From the Director

Welcome back to our return to live, indoor theatre! We are so grateful to be gathering again in Yulman Theater after a long absence. Thank you for joining us.

The theatre industry is undergoing unprecedented change as a result of the pandemic. As we embarked on the journey of rehearsing The Sex Habits of American Women, it became clear that we could not simply return to “business as usual.” The learning curve was steep, and I have been incredibly inspired by the resilience, grace, and determination I witnessed in our cast, crew, faculty, and entire team. Throughout the process we were not immune to the chaotic impact of illness and upheaval. But, without exception, everyone pressed on because we know that through the act of creating, we heal - hopefully inventing something new that challenges us to see ourselves and society more clearly.

The Sex Habits of American Women seeks to do just that. It examines the complexity of being a woman, and the intersectionality of the systems that shape us. It asks how we might all be different outside of those systems. It explores the evolving definition of “Woman.” It asks us to consider how patriarchy is still perpetuated in our own lives – and in what ways we pass it on to our daughters and sons. It is at times silly, quieting, and tragic.

And…what better time to smash the patriarchy than in the rubble of a pandemic? Playwright and actor Nikkole Salter says:
Every time is a time for something…every condition lends itself to certain activities more than others
Ask women who have given natural birth - there is a time to breathe and a time to push
There is a time for everything under the sun.
We call these times break down. Fall apart. Break through. Some call them ebb. Some call them winter. Some call them death.
I think
I believe
such a time is this….
The difference between human beings and most things in nature
to our knowledge
is that we don’t have to wait for evolution
We can opt into the necessary change
we can actively participate in and direct, to an extent, our own evolution
We don’t have to keep the systems we have
We can make up something else
And there’s no better time to do it
than when things are falling apart

Thank you for being a part of that process by choosing to spend this time with us.

- Kim Stauffer, Director