R&B artist R. Kelly’s hip-hopera “Trapped in the Closet” emanated from the second floor of the Brower Student Center last Tuesday evening.
The series of songs, which dramatizes events following a one night stand, played as Jocelyn Oppong, vice president of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority, introduced a mini-play titled “How Crowded is Your Bed?”
The program was sponsored by Zeta Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Psi and Phi Beta Sigma.
“How Crowded is Your Bed?” tells the story of a couple, Neish and Ramel, who have been dating for a few years when Neish confesses that she has cheated on Ramel several times throughout their relationship.
A bed was placed in the center of the stage and each time Neish revealed another sexual partner, that character would enter and take his place on the bed.
Here is where the play truly succeeded. The strong visual impact of the amount of characters piling onto the bed undoubtedly demonstrated the unsettling nature of infidelity.
Neish was embarrassed, ashamed and lost her boyfriend’s trust. At the play’s conclusion, a dissapointed Ramel turned to Neish and asked, “So how crowded is my bed?”
Despite the serious nature of the play’s subject matter, it had humorous moments such as when a character revealed he had gonorrhea, commonly known as “the clap,” and the entire cast clapped in unison. The crowd howled with laughter, some even rising to their feet to clap.
It was obvious that the play’s humor made an impact, but the audience also took away the deeper meaning as the event’s sponsors had intended.
“It was very good,” Lynette Barnes, sophomore psychology and finance major, said. “From the title, I didn’t know what to expect but they did a good job of presenting the risks of cheating.”
Following the play, Jennifer Miller of the Planned Parenthood Association of Mercer County conducted an interactive workshop about safe sex.
Passing around samples of contraception and discussing safe sex strategies, Miller conducted the workshop with an atmosphere of respect.
“People who are sexually active need to be informed,” Miller said. “It is important to come to these workshops where students can openly and honestly discuss pregnancy and STIs.”
The audience was very active, asking questions ranging from the best way to treat a yeast infection, to the pros and cons of using the patch vs. the pill, to what a man should do to get tested for HPV.
“There are so many myths about contraception and sex and sexuality. These need to be dispelled,” Miller said. “We will continue to educate people about protection.”
There was one piece of advice that Miller stressed above all others.
“If you try one method and it doesn’t work, don’t give up and try again. There are new inventions and new methods emerging all the time,” she said.
The workshop ended with 17 students constructing the process of safe sex by holding up signs on which were written phrases such as “check expiration date (of a condom)” and “tie the used condom and throw it in the garbage.”
The Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer County area operates an on-site clinic two days per week within Health Services located in Eickhoff Hall. Health Services will be offering free HIV tests this Friday. In addition they also offer routine STD checks for any concerned students.
To make an appointment during the semester, call (609) 771-2110 Tuesdays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m or Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.