Students gathered in Brehmer Theatre this past weekend for Colgate’s annual performance of Class of 2013 alumna Poppy Liu’s “This Is Not a Play About Sex,” (colloquially known as TINAPAS). The factual evidence was gathered through interviews of 26 Colgate students in 2012; its information is true for Colgate and college students in general. The play begins with an introduction highlighting its intentions. The play is not directly about sex but rather urges audience members to begin a conversation. The message the cast members want to convey to their audience is only the start of the conversation.
“I thought the cast of TINAPAS did an amazing job,” sophomore Grace Macdonald-Gagnon said. “The play starts different coversations about positive sexuality, love, respect and just the culture at Colgate as a whole, which I feel is very important.”
TINAPAS discusses many themes found on college campuses. In “The Sexy,” sophomore Emily Jacobs’s portrayal of her character forced audience members to think about themselves. The character acknowledges the beautiful qualities inside of her that make her strong, and she reflects on the struggles she has overcome in order to attend Colgate.
Not only does the play touch on themes of sexual climate and social life on all college campus, but also problems specific to Colgate. Students generally consider Colgate as having a hookup culture, with one night stands and drunken conversations at the Jug. Certain scenes, including “You Can Use This as a Manual,” discuss the institutionalized fraternity culture associated with this mentality that forms the root of this problem on campus. And finally, in a serious and rather upsetting scene, sophomore David Zavallos’ portrayal of a drunk student on a cruiser late at night is an unfortunate reality. The scene stressed that the need to help one another out on this campus does not just pause; we still owe it to one another to help in moments of struggle.
TINAPAS concludes with the message that sex is not black and white, and that no one should be alone. Members of the show spoke of the terrible nature of human relationships on campus and in the world.
“What if the world ends because we all destroy one another?” senior Clare Schneider asked in character.
The final lines of the play answer the question by stating that this will only happen if we let each other lead lonely lives when really we just want a connection.
President Brian Casey was especially interested by these final moments.
“An environment that should produce unbridled pleasure has only produced loneliness and isolation,” Casey said.
The play is socially relevant, and its annual performance is a great way to address the problems on Colgate’s campus.