Upcoming play deals with relationship abuse

Reid Stratton

To the average student, relationship abuse is often a distant reality. Without any personal experience, one is often confused as to why or how abusive relationships come about, and even more so, how such wonderful people can get drawn into such horrible violence.Friends and family of Deana Brisbois, a young woman from Topsfield, Mass., came face to face with the reality of relationship violence when the 23-year-old was killed due to an ongoing abusive relationship in 1994. That year they founded Deana’s Fund in order to help prevent dating and domestic violence through the means of awareness and education.

By sponsoring and producing theater- and arts-based programs Deana’s Fund promotes healthy relationships and safety issues among peers, partners, and families. “The Yellow Dress” is one of the programs sponsored by Deana’s Fund directed towards college students.

“The Yellow Dress” is a dramatic one-woman play that tells the story of Anna, a senior in high school, whose relationship with her boyfriend quickly moves from idyllic and passionate young love to a spiral of physical and sexual abuse. The performance will be followed by a detailed discussion regarding the characteristics of relationship violence, how to prevent it, and how to get help.

“The Yellow Dress” has received enormous praise for its effectiveness and has been covered by “Good Morning America,” The Catalogue of Philanthropy, and The Associated Press.

This program is coming to Lawrence as part of a collaboration with the Ripon College Residence Life department and is a wonderful opportunity for Lawrence students to become informed about relationship abuse and play an active role in keeping the campus and community safe from violence. “The Yellow Dress” will be presented in the Cloak Theatre on October 7 at 7 p.m.