GREENSBORO, N.C. — An investigation has been launched at Greensboro College in response to sexually explicit comments directed at cast members during a play about sexual harassment and rape on college campuses.
At the first performance of “It Stops Here” on Wednesday, members of the audience yelled sexually explicit comments at the actors and made sexual noises throughout the one-hour show.
“Many of the boys started calling out ‘She wanted it, it’s not rape,’ and making masturbation noises,” said Claire Sellers, stage manager for the play.
Sellers says the cast felt violated.
“They became physically ill and vomited after the show because they were so vulgar,” she said.
Sellers says faculty members in the audience did nothing to stop it.
“The dean of students was standing idly by,” said Sellers, a junior at the college. “I saw him near the biggest group of offenders there.”
Lex Alexander is the director of communications for the school.
Alexander said there were faculty members there, but doesn’t know if the dean of students was one of them.
“I wasn’t there,” he said. “I don’t know.”
On Thursday, the president of the college sent a letter to students saying that a Title IX investigation had been launched and that the college is pursuing a formal complaint of sexual misconduct.
Along with the investigation, a security guard will now be present at all shows.
“I think this incident illustrates in a very real way the point that this play is trying to make,” Alexander said.
“It stops here,” Sellers said. “Really, it has to.”
The next performance of “It Stops Here” will be on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 6th at 2 p.m.