By Teresa Leggard
In the colorful, carefully curated Squeezebox Theater, a narrator wearing slacks, brown wingtips, and a white t-shirt steps on stage and begins speaking and unpacking. She’s setting the scene and the table—each prop carefully placed, every detail expertly articulated.
That may seem like an odd observation, but as Qurrant Anne Kadwani, writer and performer of “Intrusion”, spins in and out of characters and scenes, sharing history, legal precedent, pop culture, and perspective—which would be a lot for a full-length play, let alone a one act—expert articulation becomes key.
Kadwani explores a near-future when rape is practically a thing of the past, but in art—as in life—we are reminded that the past isn’t always past. An event rocks the foundation of this near-future society, and every character’s response (8 characters, to be exact) demonstrates how rape culture affects us all.
That the show is occasionally didactic is par for the course. But Kadwani’s characters have enough dimension to couch the facts and stats in nuance and humanity. Under the thoughtful direction of Constance Hester, Kadwani’s energy remains high and focused. The costume changes help to distinguish characters along with Kadwani’s voice work, and the props enhance the spectacle without overtaking the performance.
“Intrusion” is a hypothetical question gone right. It lets us imagine a society without rape, but it cautions against complacency as hard-won gains can be too easily lost—a lesson we’ve become too familiar with as of late.