Rape in relationships is a subject that many are uncomfortable dealing with. However, playwright Fariso Jordan has decided to tackle this topic with her first play, a one-woman, full-length drama called “Georgia,” which delves into the subject of rape between a couple in a relationship. She looks at two teenagers who are in love, Georgia and Ronnie, and shows a moment where things get out of hand, but what happens is perceived by the two youths in two completely opposite ways.
Jordan recently took some time between rehearsals to sit and talk with the AmNews about her first play. “I started writing it as a junior in college at Fordham University in a playwriting class. I finished writing the play this past December. I play four different characters who give opposing views on rape. I thought it was the perfect subject because there are so many perspectives on it that people don’t think of. You’ve never gotten to hear a man’s perspective on rape, never thinking of himself as a rapist,” Jordan shared.
The characters in the play are very distinctive. Georgia is the teenage girl, Ronnie her teenage boyfriend. Then there’s Georgia’s mother, Ms. Khumalo, who was born in South Africa.
When Ms. Khumalo learns of what happened to her daughter, her reaction is interesting. “She is South African born, so her definition of rape is different from what Georgia has experienced. She feels that what happened between Georgia and Ronnie is what happens when men and women get in bed together. The final character is Whitney, Georgia’s best friend who views it as rape and encourages Whitney to separate from Ronnie,” Jordan explained.
“A lot of people stay away from relationship rape because it makes us uncomfortable, but that’s why I think we need to tap into it a little deeper. I want audiences to see that there are multiple sides to this issue. Be thoughtful and consider every side; don’t be so quick to judge,” Jordan said.
Kevin Benoit is the producer and director of “Georgia.” Focusing on his latter role, Jordan remarked, “Kevin looks at each individual character and sees how we find the depth in them. He also helps to guide me in finding the actor within myself to bring out the depth of the character in my own way, and that’s great.
“Georgia” is produced by Parle Entertainment and runs Aug. 5 and 12 at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E. 3rd, between avenues B and C.