Coming Up: Theater for a Cause – ‘Costly Desires' focuses attention on sex trafficking

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Jaine Huenergard, Sean Maurer (rear), Rachel Brow (front) (photo Bernard Mann)

You Tube video: Video trailer for “Costly Desires”

Local professional actress, Megan Becker, can be influenced by good art, just as anyone else. She recently attended a performance of Lynn Nottage’s play, Ruined, at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which illuminates the use of rape as a weapon of war in the Congo. Sometime later, she saw a documentary, Nefarious, which focused on sex trafficking all over the world.

Megan says, “I really wanted to do something about the issue. It would be cool to do a play about an issue and have the profits going to an organization that is working on it. Seattle is a good town to do that in. Ruined focused on prostitution, and got me started looking into prostitution, and I found that people have a lot of ignorance about the topic. That people think women choose to sell their bodies and that’s just not true, often.

“In fact, the percentage of women that actually choose that is so rare. And you have to look at their family background and whether it was part of their family. Sometimes it’s culturally accepted, it’s a major part of the culture in Thailand, especially in small villages, where it’s considered an honor that a woman can make money for her family. There’s different mentalities about it.”

Nefarious left her “so moved and outraged, I wanted to get involved and wondered what I could bring to it. So, I started to do this show about sex-trafficking in the United States and give money to these two organizations: The Genesis Project and REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade).”

Megan researched for months and collaborated with a small group of artists from various backgrounds: dance (choreographer Katy Hegalin), music (original compositions from Chris Ingrao), and film and media by Bernard Mann, who teaches at the Seattle Film Forum. She and Matt Parker began meeting with them and discussing how all those disciplines would meld together.

Megan says, “I wrote the majority of the script and Matt helped shape it. I did research for months on sex trafficking and read blogs about guys who ‘buy’ prostitutes. I talked to the organizations I was working with; watched videos from women who had been trafficked. I based the characters lives on various stories I had found and news articles from NBC and took things from my research. There are visually cool media integrations that I found and liked. I drew from a lot of different things.”

The press release describes the story as, “Yen longs for a better life for her son and Mari longs for love, both their dreams are exploited and they find themselves trapped in the sex trade with little hope of escape. John, a man struggling with his broken marriage, turns to these two women for comfort unaware that they are modern day slaves controlled by those who claim ownership over them.”

They are using space at Greenwood Square (8420 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle, Washington 98103), which is an event space they are turning into a theater space for two nights, November 9 and 10. They only have 60 seats, so get your tickets here quickly.

 

 

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