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June 9, 2017:

The Interference reviewed by Rob Stevens


During their freshman year of college 15 percent of women are raped while incapacitated from alcohol or drugs according to research released in late 2015. Playwright Lynda Radley has fashioned an involving 70-minute play, The Interference being presented by Rouge Machine as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, that examines the after effects of an incapacitated rape of a young woman by a star jock at a party on a university campus. Drunk and asleep, Karen is sexually assaulted by Smith, the soon-to-be-pro quarterback. A female friend encourages her to file a police report. The police don’t seem to be that interested in following up on a charge against a local celebrity. When Karen files a complaint with the university, a panel of six (professors and students) find in her favor. But when Smith refutes her account, he is exonerated and she then is vilified by fellow students in person and on social media. She next goes public in the media and she and the sympathetic reporter receive threats. A civil law suit might be her only recourse but the toll on her spirit and her health, her relationships with boyfriend, father and friends are all at risk. The play is written Story Theatre style with one actor finishing the thought, the sentence, the idea on another, and so on and so on. It works amazingly well for the cast of 12 very talented young actors from Pepperdine University under the tight direction of Cathy Thomas-Grant. Live Sound Artist Katelynn Kultiper and the music & sound design she created along with Michael John McCarthy is an added and integral character. It’s a harrowing journey through a case of “she said/he said” where the victim is treated with more abuse and disdain that the criminal. The ending is ambiguous as most of the cases end up in real life. It’s a must see visceral experience.



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