World Kin Ensemble

A theatre company committed to challenging our conceptions of gender and power dynamics. We strive to give a voice to those unheard through art and theatre


Dirty Talk is a galvanizing new docudrama, a three person theatrical experience, that is based on interviews with men and women from campuses around the country and provides real accounts of sexually intrusive behavior, all the way from catcalls to assault.  Poignant, hilarious and electrifying, it is in the eye of the storm of gender politics roiling college campuses.  It will educate, illuminate, foster discussion and offer empowering solutions to combat this crisis sweeping the nation.

This hour-long presentation is perfect for orientation training, sexual assault awareness month, women’s history month, take back the night and is a crucial component of any anti-discriminatory awareness workshop.  

Created and Directed by Shaheen Vaaz

This 60 minute university bound piece includes a wide variety of fascinating characters represented by two actors:

  • A survivor, active in rape crisis counseling
  • An female professor, an authority on hook-up culture
  • An African-American male advocate for gender equality
  • A married orthodox Jewish woman
  • An ex-fraternity member offering advice
  • A Political Science professor, a pioneer in rape advocacy
  • A South Asian student activist
  • A male radical feminist professor and activist
  • An Arabic victim of assault

Written and directed by Shaheen Vaaz

In its April 4th, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter on Title IX and sexual misconduct, the Department of Education recommended schools provide “information on the link between alcohol and drug abuse and sexual harassment or violence and best practices to address that link” when training Title IX coordinators and other employees involved in redressing campus sexual violence.

A 2004 study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health noted, “alcohol use is a central factor in most college rapes. Paradoxically, few rape preventive interventions focus on alcohol use.”

Dirty Talk is different. It directly addresses this connection, broadening the narrative of educational/preventative programs by examining college hook-up culture and sexual violence within the context of partying, drugs, and alcohol.

Dirty Talk Offers:

Absorbing content developed with students, survivors, advocates and professors through multiple interviews and feedback sessions.

A thorough educational approach that addresses the relationship between sexual violence, societal norms and substance abuse.

True accounts and statistics to encourage a community of responsibility where men and women are equal partners in prevention.

Advice and first hand experiences to promote bystander intervention.

Insights into campus policies, procedures, and resources.

Compliance with the Campus SaVE Act,

Dirty Talk’s goal is to provide students with the necessary information, confidence and skills to diffuse high risk situations, to intervene before sexual assault occurs, to speak out against stereotypes and attitudes that perpetuate sexual violence, and to support survivors.

Alerting students to the prevalence of sexual violence and substance abuse on college campuses

Informing students about substance abuse and sexual violence to help them identify and avoid high-risk situations, Stressing a community of responsibility.

Bystander Intervention: Speak out and stand up!

Bystander intervention: You have the power to stop something if you see it happening. If you see someone trying to hurt someone else or taking advantage speak out. As a bystander when you notice a problem, act and stop it. You have the power to change someones life.

A Comprehensive Harm-reduction Approach

National statistics on rape and sexual violence in the United States are deeply troubling:

1 in 6 women are victims or rape or attempted rape.

College women are at very high risk for sexual assault: 1 in 4 women experience rape or attempted rape while in college.

Substance abuse is also prevalent at many colleges and universities, with tragic consequences. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that 1,825 college students between 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related injuries, a further 690,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking, and 150,000 develop alcohol-related health problems.

Other harm-reduction programs treat these problems in isolation from one another. Yet substance abuse and sexual violence are deeply connected:

• Half of all sexual assaults are committed by men who have been drinking.

• Half of all sexual assault victims report that they had been drinking when they were assaulted.

• Each year over 97,000 students between 18 and 24 suffer alcohol- related sexual assault or rape.