Interactive play Far From The Heart challenges teens to stop sexual assault

An interactive theatre production is teaching audiences how to prevent sexual assault by asking the audience to intervene.

The interactive play Far From the Heart is coming to Sudbury, Ont. this weekend. The actors play out the events leading up to a sexual assault. Then the audience helps change the outcome when scenes are repeated. (Supplied)

An interactive theatre production is teaching audiences how to prevent sexual assault by asking the audience to intervene.

Far From the Heart depicts a series of scenes taking place over the course of an evening that lead up to a sexual assault. After running through the performance once, the actors start again from the beginning.

The second time, members of the audience are encouraged to stop the action and get onstage, either intervening as a bystander, or even replacing the other actors onstage to try a different approach.

In one early scene, a young man becomes angry with his girlfriend’s new dress because he thinks it’s too revealing, and tries to force her to cover up.

“It’s a very difficult scene, the girl is hurt, and the audience can stop it at any point and can come up and change things,” said Joan Chandler, artistic director of the Ontario theatre company Sheatre.