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Can't Thread a Moving Needle

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About the Play

"Can't Thread a Moving Needle", written by playwright, Barbara Means Fraser, offers a compelling and challenging examination of issues of sexual assault based on stories and commentary from interviews with over a hundred people.  The experiences, thoughts, and realizations of victims, survivors, perpetrators, family, friends, counselors, professors, administrators, and attorneys allow the audience to gain an overview of the physical and emotional costs of sexual assault.

A Collaboration

Avon Foundation for WomenIn 2007, nine students, and one alumnus from Santa Clara University participated in Playwright’s Workshop with Barbara Means Fraser to learn about sexual assault, and then to assist in gathering stories.  Interviews included people from California, Texas, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

The Screenplay

In cooperation with Center of Performing Arts Director, Lisa Rademacher, Director of SCU Presents, Butch Coyne and the Department of Theatre and Dance, the play was performed by Santa Clara students and alumni on an annual basis as a mandatory program for all first year students.  The play premiered under the direction of Maren Lovgren in 2008.  In 2013-14, Fraser and award winning filmmaker, Michael Whalen collaborated to transform the play into a film with funding from a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women.

Highlighting a Complex Issue

The production is composed of numerous scenes and monologues that are sad, enlightening, jarring, and funny. Each part highlights various aspects of this complex issue: the role that alcohol plays, the importance of communication between women and men, the impact that rape myths have on college campuses, survivors' stories of trauma and healing, safety tips, and the search for a solution. This production is intended to open a dialogue by providing a forum for discussion and call us all to action with the realization that education about sexual violence is essential, and both men and women need to join together to work toward a solution.

Presentation Booklet and Film Clips

A printable resource educators and facilitators can use for classroom reflection and conversation.