Playing Lavinia

I’m sure most of my regular readers (hey Facebook) know by now that I’m going to be playing Lavinia in the Prenzie Player’s 2012 production of TItus Andronicus, (Shameless self-promotional details are at the bottom of the page).

I found out I was playing Lavinia in September, and (admittedly) I had over-researched the character by June. There was just something fantastically interesting about the character, and something about the challenge of the vulnerability and pain the character goes through really fascinated me.

With the childhood experiences that I had, it’s just really weird that I’m cast as Lavinia. Don’t worry, I wasn’t raped or anything, but my mom is the sole prosecutor of all rape/molestation/pedophile cases for Rock Island country, so growing up, I was raised in this stringent household of absolute victim’s rights and respect for these women. I remember coming home to the dining room table covered in boxes, and when I finally made the connection that each one of those boxes represented a rape victim, it just devastated me that so many “bad” people were out there in the world. Now I’m playing, really, the quinticential “rape” victim, and the silencing that Lavinia goes through, both metaphorically and literally has been really hard for me to deal with.

My instinct is just to go tell my mom so she can put the assholes in jail. Doing research on the show, it’s been eye-opening to see the level of silencing that sexual assault victims have in our country. In my little world, every victim has a voice, but really, that’s almost the opposite of what is true.

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