BY SANDY STAGGS
In a rare solo theatrical treat, Warehouse Theatre Conservatory presents a one-woman show opening tonight for five performances only entitled “To Feel Together: A One-Woman Show on Consent.”
“Consent” is written by and stars Rebecca Whitten, a Francis Marion University graduate who began the Warehouse’s intensive apprenticeship program in January and has been honing her craft on the many facets of professional productions, including her current post as a spotlight operator for the company’s final musical of the season, “Spring Awakening.”
As her final swan song at the Conservatory, Whitten embodies three different characters (including men) in some five narratives that are all true stories based on her experience or someone in her social circle and attempts to examine what consent really looks like.
“I start by saying ‘consent’ has become a ‘buzzword’ lately,” said Whitten after a recent rehearsal at The Warehouse. “Consent is an issue that everyone is talking about, but they don’t ‘talk’ about it. They use the word but nobody asks ‘What does it really mean? What does it mean to you?’ “
Consent in the media and social construct is usually associated with college frat parties gone very bad, but the show’s director Robert Fuson said this piece avoids entirely those stereotypes.
“That’s what I really I like about Rebecca’s work. It creates an extremely fresh and complex take on a topic that some would say is overly hashed-out,” said Fuson, a Furman alumnus who concluded his own Warehouse Conservatory journey last year by directing Edward Albee’s “Zoo Story” featuring co-grads Ryan Barry (recent co-star of “Spamalot” in Spartanburg) and Christopher Paul Smith, who is in the “Spring Awakening” cast.
“Rebecca’s project brings about relevance in everyday life that you just don’t really think about [as consent],” he said.
One story for example is about a young couple that is planning their “first” time together, Fuson said. “Although they never really have sex, it ends in a breach of trust.”
A solo show is new territory for both scribe/star and director, who have been collaborating on this project since mid-March.
But Fuson, who after this run is Stage Managing the next Fringe play at Centre Stage “Death and the Maiden,” has been acquainted with the solo genre ever since seeing Tony-winning playwright Sara Jones (“Bridge and Tunnel”) workshop “Sell/Buy/Date,” her multi-character solo play about sex trafficking at Sundance Labs in 2015.
Whitten said her aim is to challenge the audience in the grey areas of sexual consent, but she doesn’t attempt to answer those questions.
“I am not trying to tell everyone what to think or how to think about it. I want everyone to think about consent, and feel it out,” she said.
“I want them to be talking I want them to be discussing it with each other or even just thinking about it on their own.”
This performance contains mature themes.
“To Feel Together: A One-Woman Show on Consent” opens Sunday, June 4 at 8 p.m. and plays June 6, 11 & 13 at The Warehouse Theatre Rehearsal Room, 37 Augusta St. in Greenville.
Tickets are only $6. Call (864) 235-6948 or visit www.warehousetheatre.com