COLUMN: Growth is always possible, play provides content warning


Killeen Reidy, Columnist

For those of you who were not aware, Eastern’s production of “Blood at the Root” opened on Nov. 11. Since my roommate was a part of the cast, and because I enjoy watching shows, I attended the show’s second performance. 

It was a phenomenal and moving performance of a thought-provoking play that deals with some heavy subject matter. I was completely in awe of the actors’ talents, in particular the performances of Brea Howard and Robert Newman. The set and light design was amazing, with amazing attention to detail.  

As you can probably tell from the mention of heavy subject matter, I’m going to be discussing content warnings again. The difference from my last column, however, is not to discuss the lack of them but rather the inclusion.

If you have not read my earlier column on content warnings, I’ll give a summary. My friends and I attended a showing of Eastern’s production of “A Bright New Boise” and were not prepared to handle the subject matter due to the lack of synopsis and content warnings. This led me to of course be wary of this production, but again my roommate was a part of the cast and assured me there would be content warnings. And indeed, there were, along with a synopsis.  

This is not to say I wasn’t affected by the subject matter, but I was prepared and this led to a much better experience for me as an audience member. The talk-back with the cast and directors only added to my enjoyment, as I was able to reassure myself that the actors were also taken care of.

The amazing guest director of the show, Janai Lashon, spoke about how important it was to her that all her actors were safe while dealing with these roles. “Theatre is not cheap therapy,” she said, and I wholeheartedly agree.  

As you can see, there is always room to grow with these things, and of course this didn’t happen because I published an column, but it was heartwarming and exciting to see. Even I am capable of growth.

In my earlier column I was referring to these warnings as “trigger warnings” but due to being able to have a conversation about the topic with both Janai Lashon and Dr. Christiana Harkulich, learned that calling them content warnings is a better practice. This is because the word “trigger” implies violence, diminishing that no physical harm doesn’t mean no harm at all.

I am glad I was able to learn from my experience because how can I expect others to grow if I can’t? The answer is I can’t, so while helping others to grow and learn, I will continue to do so myself.

Killeen Reidy is a junior English major. They can be reached at [email protected] or at 581-2812.