Navigator: The play helps to spread awareness of the rising number of drink-spiking incidents and how people can protect themselves. What else does Dissolve bring to the theater?
Tracy Myers: Firstly, it is simply an excellent piece of theatre. The script is moving, funny, poignant,and brilliantly executed by actress Emmelia Gordon. I wouldn’t say that the focus of the play is on how people can protect themselves as much as it takes a look at the “upstanders” (bystanders) to the event and what the responsibility or role is of everyone else such as bouncers, friends, and neighbours.
N: How did Haven Society get involved in promoting the play?
TM: I decided to bring the play to Nanaimo as soon as I saw it. I am a counsellor in the Children and Youth programs, so work sort of got away from me once September hit, and then when [reporter Julia Chadwick of] The Daily News started to write stories about the women coming forward with having their drinks spiked at a bar downtown, I knew I had to put some energy into convincing Haven that we should bring the show here.
N: Aside from the “one woman, 14 characters” idea, can the audience expect any other creative experiments in the play?
TM: As I remember it, the play has a very minimal set (one chair), but lighting is used to great effect, as the lights help create the illusion of a bar, a bathroom, an apartment, a college lecture hall, etc. Again, Emmelia is powerful in her ability to “become” different characters with use of her body and voice—it is astounding!
N: Will there be an artist talk or a discussion after the play?
TM: The show always includes a 45 minute “talk back.” We are currently working on how we might make this section unique to Nanaimo, and we are in process at this point. At the very least, Emmelia will field some questions.
N: What are some other ways the organization helps fighting the issue of drug-facilitated sexual assaults?
TM: Haven Society as a Community Victim Services program which provides support to survivors of this crime. The program is not connected to the RCMP, so women who aren’t sure about approaching police but still want support and services can get them through this program. We also have a Women’s Counselling program which provides support to women who have experienced trauma. All our services are free.