Seeing Rape: This Is America A Series of Short Plays Written by John Jay Students

Seeing Rape: This Is America A Series of Short Plays Written by John Jay Students

Seeing Rape: This Is America  A Series of Short Plays Written by John Jay Students

How do you move forward after a family member rapes you? What happens when a young woman from Mexico crosses the southern border, only to find her nightmare begins on U.S. soil? These are just two of the compelling stories featured in Seeing Rape: This is America, a collection of short plays written by John Jay College students and performed by professional actors. The performances will take place April 10, 11 and 12 in the College’s Gerald W. Lynch Theater.

Each fictional story in Seeing Rape examines aspects of sexual violence, with views on hyper-masculinity, the opioid epidemic, the workplace, immigration at the Southern border, and dating. 

“Taking a class about rape has included a lot of emotional adjustment as much as academic work,” said John Jay student Rose Osorio ‘21, author of How to Cry with Your Mouth Open. “It was a difficult but a very much needed lens to look at rape. To dissect mixed media and constantly write about the world around us challenged me in ways other classes simply could not. Writing creatively about how I see it has been the very peak of my college career."

Some of the actors slated for the performance include Alice Gorelick of the Off Broadway musical Locked Up Bitches (Flea Theater), Roland Lane, star of BET’s web series Brooklyn.Blue.Sky, and Tay Bass star of HYPE MAN: a break beat play (Flea Theater).

Seeing Rape performances are the dramatic results of the course “Sex, Gender, and Justice: Seeing Rape,” taught by Professors Shonna Trinch and Barbara Cassidy. The plays are all treated as works of fiction even though several are based on real-life, personal situations.

“Students spend a semester reading, writing and discussing representations of rape that many of them have never confronted before,” said Professor Trinch. “In their final class projects, students attempt to represent sexual violence in a multi-perspectival way that humanizes perpetrators, bystanders and of course, victims.”

Trinch says the plays are critiqued and questioned, with students doing several rewrites until they are ready for the professional actors. “It’s always so interesting to see the final product on the stage, because the audience probably has no idea how much work went into getting each play and the entire production to show time.”

“The class ended up being an eye-opener for me and I took the playwriting assignment as a way of addressing rape in an unconventional way because rape is in no way conventional,” said John Jay student Vicky Metayer ‘19, author of Pineapple Juice.

Conversations with playwrights, actors, and special guests will immediately follow each performance. Non-students pay $20, but the show is free for students with a valid ID. Click here for tickets and registration.

Seeing Rape: This is America will feature:

  • He's the Man by Frances Johnson
    Three teenagers boast of their sexual prowess until something happens.
  • She Spoke of Doubts by Megan Wallace 
    A couple unpacks the woman's sexual assault and treads uneasy waters.
  • Just a Date by Connor Gilligan
    Opioid addiction and the cost to one couple.
  • 7 Days by Jelloby Garcia 
    Crossing the border from Mexico, one young woman makes it through the trek unscathed, only to find danger in the USA.
  • Mi Hermana by Johanna Tejada 
    Domestic violence and one woman's attempt to help her sister.
  • #me3 by David Chang
    Explores an actor and a #MeToo story.
  • Broken Code by Isaah Flaherty, Brian Cabrera, and Jennessy Alonzo 
    Toxic masculinity explored in 3 somewhat likeable guys.
  • Pineapple Juice by Victoria Metayer 
    A couple plays kinky but things go out of control.
  • The Soup that was Soap by Nicole Cerranza 
    A young woman falls for another woman, but ...
  • How to Cry with your Mouth Open by Rose Osorio 
    A woman moves forward after being raped by a family member.
  • Heisman by Sequan Haynes 
    A young man talks his talk.


About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: 
An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York is a Hispanic Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution offering a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. John Jay is home to faculty and research centers at the forefront of advancing criminal and social justice reform. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College engages the theme of justice and explores fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @JohnJayCollege.