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Thursday, December 7, 2023

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“Two Lakes, Two Rivers” opens SDSU Theatre’s fall 2020 season and debuts on Sept. 3. “Two Lakes, Two Rivers” opens SDSU Theatre’s fall 2020 season and debuts on Sept. 3.

SDSU Theatre Tackles Virtual Premiere

"Two Lakes, Two Rivers" features meaningful discussion with the audience on the topic of consent and connects students with on-campus resources.
By Georgia Burgé

Over the past several months, theater practitioners have found new ways to collaborate, learn, and create using virtual modalities. While performing via computer doesn’t equate to performing on stage, Dani Bedau, a professor in San Diego State University’s School of Theatre, Television, and Film, believes virtual modalities can be used to create an environment that inspires meaningful dialogue and reflection among audience members.

This fall, Bedau will direct the first-ever performances of “Two Lakes, Two Rivers” by playwright Laura Jacqmin as part of the Arts Alive SDSU Discovery Series. The play, opening for an eight-performance run on Thursday, Sept. 3, addresses the topic of sexual assault among young adults and explores the choices made by the main characters and the roles bystanders, perpetrator, and victim play in the situation.

In addition to the play itself, each performance will give audience members a chance to participate in a curated discussion to help them navigate the delicate subjects portrayed in the play. Bedau will collaborate with the School of Child and Family Development to create pre- and post-show discussion questions to guide the audience through a potentially difficult conversation. Students will then be encouraged to connect with campus resources, including the Women’s Resource Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and SDSU Well-being and Health Promotion.

“This show has the potential to reach a bigger audience in a more intimate way and fuel honest and open discussion since the audience is in the familiar space of their homes,” Bedau said.

Following the announcement of SDSU Flex in June 2020, Bedau saw an opportunity to explore and experiment with performing this type of piece in a virtual space. 

“The whole industry has been wondering, how do we do this, should we do this?” Bedau said. “We need to continue because students need to keep learning in a way that meets learning outcomes.”

“Two Lakes, Two Rivers” opens SDSU Theatre’s fall 2020 season and debuts on Sept. 3. Tickets are $5 and can purchased online. All ticket sales close 24 hours in advance of the performance in order to prepare for this unique, interactive performance.