Theater Program to Raise Awareness of Dating Violence – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Theater Program to Raise Awareness of Dating Violence

Dating violence is a hidden crime. An interactive performance at HWS will help raise awareness and hopes to prevent this crime from happening.

(October 21, 2003) GENEVA, N.Y. — Play Rights' production of “Four Hearts Changing,” an interactive play, will dramatize the issue of dating violence, also called battering, at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, in Albright Auditorium. The performance is free and the public is invited to attend. Adult themes, however, may not be suitable for young children.

Play Rights utilizes interactive theater with professional actors to explore these topics and more. “Four Hearts Changing” tells the story of two female friends and two male friends, who begin dating each other. Over time, one character undergoes startling changes due to what is happening behind closed doors. This program is emotionally powerful, alternating between comical and dramatic scenes. As the intensity builds higher and higher, the characters each reach a crucial turning point. What each person decides could affect whether the escalating violence will cease or progress to a potentially terrible conclusion. At critical points, the actors will stop the action but stay in character, in order for the audience members to interview them and learn more about what they are thinking and feeling.

“Four Hearts Changing” centers on true-to-life situations, with characters that are so familiar they seem real. In the course of being entertained, audience members will have an opportunity to consider common misconceptions about dating violence. The program covers legal, medical and community options available to victims, rights in a relationship and ways for students of both genders to support victims and work to end violence against women.

Play Rights was developed by Equalogy, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding awareness and promoting social change around issues of equality. Members of Equalogy have more than 60 years of experience in the domestic violence field and have direct experience working in a battered women's shelter. Play Rights has toured colleges and universities in 14 states.

For further information about this event, please contact Valerie Gunter at (315) 781-3467 or e-mail her at This event is sponsored by the William Smith dean's office.