Hard Talks: Local Theater Company's Conversation Series

As part of Local Theater Company’s commitment to engaging theatergoers—and new-to-theater audiences—in productions and conversations that spark camaraderie, learning, and contemplation, Hard Talks has been developed by Artistic Director Pesha Rudnick and Outreach Coordinator Steve San Luis to talk, openly and safely, about issues of rape culture and sexual assault in our community. The talks are being presented simultaneously with our fall production of The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias.

All of the events are offered free of charge thanks to support from the Boulder Arts Commission. RSVPs are strongly encouraged. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017 | 5pm
Dairy Arts Center, Carsen Theatre

Rape Culture in Boulder: The Change Makers

In Colorado, one in four women are sexually assaulted. The same is true of one in 17 men. How does sexual assault impact our community? How can we change the statistics? And perhaps most importantly, how can we change culture? Meet the individuals taking a stand against sexual violence in Colorado in a panel discussion with …Sabine Women playwright Michael Yates Crowley.


  • Michael Yates Crowley, Playwright, …Sabine Women
  • Sarah Dobson, Prevention Coordinator, Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA)
  • Candace Joice, Education Director, iEmpathize
  • Tanya Kearns, Licensed Professional Counselor, Office of Victim Assistance, University of Colorado Boulder


  • Betty Hart, Actor, Artist and Facilitator

Saturday, November 4, 2017 | 4-6pm
Dairy Arts Center, Carsen Theatre

Interpreting: An Art Gallery Pop-Up and Lecture

Art is inspiring art is inspiring art. Metropolitan State University Art Historians, Deanne Pytlinski, PhD and Jessica Weiss, PhD, will give a lecture on “The Intervention of the Sabine Women” by Jacques-Louis David, the painting that inspired Michael Yates Crowley’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias. The lecture will be presented in tandem with an art gallery pop-up of new, original works by local artists inspired by David’s painting and our play.


  • Deanne Pytlinski, PhD, Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Jessica Weiss, PhD, Assistant Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Monday, November 6, 2017 | 6-8pm
Butcher Auditorium in the Jennie Smoly Biotechnology Building
University of Colorado Boulder

A Local Town Hall: Rolling Back Title IX

Here’s the truth: Boulder has a complicated history with Title IX, which guarantees no person in the United States can, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Now, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has recommended rolling back Title IX regulation. Is it good for students and educators? Experts in the field will discuss their response to the Department of Education and will answer questions about creating and maintaining a culture of safety in Boulder.


  • John Clune, Attorney
  • Chris Ford, Attorney
  • Linda Shoemaker, University of Colorado Regent
  • Valerie Simons, University of Colorado Title IX Coordinator


  • Helayne Jones, Former President, Boulder Valley Board of Education

Sunday, November 12, 2017 | 1:30pm
Dairy Arts Center, Carsen Theatre

True Man: A Former NFL Player Talks Gender-based Violence

Created in partnership with the Denver Broncos, NFL football player Derek McCoy’s “True Man” Program is designed to challenge boys and men to become allies in the prevention of gender-based violence through a team framework. McCoy steps into the theater to discuss—and challenge—our notions of power and privilege, and the dangerous rigidity of masculinity.


  • Derek McCoy, Former NFL and University of Colorado Player

Saturday, November 18, 2017 | 5pm
Dairy Arts Center, Carsen Theatre

Survivors Speak: The Voices Influencing the Justice System

Hear their stories. In Michael Yates Crowley’s …Sabine Women, the central character—Grace B. Matthias—is raped. Who would she have become had Crowley written a third act of the play? In this conversation, listen to the empowering stories of survivors of domestic violence and how their truth shapes our culture today.


  • Nanette Chezum, Domestic Abuse Survivor, Advocate & Educator and Founder of The Courage Corner
  • Tracy Malone, Domestic Abuse Survivor, Stand Up Colorado and Safehouse Denver
  • Tracey Tatro Swindle, Sexual Assault Nurse


  • Steve San Luis, Outreach Coordinator, Local Theater Company