If you happened to walk by the Rock last Friday afternoon, you might have heard Communication sophomore Olivia Zapater-Charrette yelling, “A fun and flirty way to start your Friday!” and wondered what the hell was going on.
Promoting WAVE Productions’ Stop Kiss, a play running this weekend, cast and crew members gathered in the cold with their custom-made stop sign to encourage passersby to spread some love. The group, including the stage manager, Zapater-Charrette, posted the pictures of people “kiss[ing] a friend, kiss[ing] a significant other, or kiss[ing] one of us” on Facebook.
The play behind the Rock event, Stop Kiss, deals with friends that become far more than friends. The show opens with a young traffic reporter living in New York City, Callie, who is on the phone complaining about having to entertain “some friend of an old friend.” This person is Sara, the play’s other protagonist and Callie’s eventual love interest. Sara just moved to the city from St. Louis because she won a fellowship to teach at a school in the Bronx. Callie helps her get accustomed to the city and, in turn, Sara shows Callie a way of living besides just going through the motions. The play jumps back and forth in time based on one night in Greenwich Village that changes Callie and Sara forever.
As the play progresses, it becomes clear to the audience that Callie and Sara are developing feelings for one another, but they aren’t quite sure what to do with those feelings, resulting in lots of cute, relatable moments of awkwardness and sexual tension.
For Communication freshman Hailey Brunson, who plays Callie, many moments within the script remind her of her own relationships: “the confusing moments, the ‘Oh, were we just flirting?’ moments.”
“I think it’s important that the script is less about being queer and more about being a person discovering your feelings,” Brunson said. “It’s just a universal story that represents the queer side of things really well.”
While WAVE Productions is not designed with a queer-focused mission, “WAVE is a board that really loves love, so it makes sense to me that they often end up doing queer shows,” said director Zoe Johnson.
“It balances realism and happiness, which I think is really important when you tell queer stories,” said Johnson, a Medill sophomore. “It does a really beautiful job of balancing the aspects of falling in love with the aspects of trauma. And it ends with happy lesbians.”
Stop Kiss runs at Shanley Pavilion on Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is free for students.