PERREAULT Magazine MARCH | APRIL 2016 - Page 54

Perreault Magazine - 54 -

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Elisabeth Nails, Assistant Director of the Center, explains that Sex Squad collaborates to create performances based on “their own personal narratives and questions and conflicts around sexual health.” Their process for creating this artistic narrative is reflective and allows them to “unearth stories, share them, and then transform that into sketches, songs, dances, poetry, comedy.” Within the UCLA Sex Squad, comedy is king. Using humor in their performances allows the students to openly discuss ‘taboo’ topics and laugh about things like condoms and HIV tests, which might have otherwise led them to feeling awkward and uncomfortable.

“There’s something powerful in telling your own story and laughing at the things we’re told to be afraid of because when we laugh at them, we can actually respond to them and challenge them.” – Bobby, UCLA Sex Squad

The first component in the AMP! program introduces the UCLA Sex Squad for the first time to ninth grade high school health classes. For the students who have never witnessed such an outrageous performance, it is truly a revelation, invoking nervous, yet genuine laughter and astonishment.

The second component of the program is called Rehearsal for Real Life, which is based on the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology.

This workshop component invites high school students to engage in moments of sexual health crises (i.e. condom negotiation with a new partner; or having a tough time talking to one’s parents about sex or birth control options).