By Production Dramaturg Noah Pattillo (’18)
In Click, a new play by Jacqueline Goldfinger premiering at Emerson next week, Katherine Logan (’18) plays Fresh, a young woman whose life is altered after a Facebook Live video of her being sexually assaulted goes viral. Alex Henderson (’17) plays Maria, Fresh’s roommate and best friend, who happens to be trans. The play follows these two women and charts how this horrific event shapes the course of their lives. The play spans fifteen years and asks the audience to examine the role of technology in today’s rapidly changing world. I sat down with Katherine and Alex to talk about some of the topics in the play, as well as the research they did to prepare for their roles.
What Aspects of Fresh do you connect to?
Katherine Logan: I’m really connecting with the subject material and the things Fresh has had to deal with in her life. I have been very close friends with people who are victims of sexual assault, and I have been by their sides for some of the grief processes that Fresh goes through in the show. So it’s been a challenge trying to divert that grief onto myself and channel that through myself as an actor. I really do connect with this universal struggle of women in this day and age. Rape is an archaic problem, but it has taken on a very different face in our modern world, and I think that’s what the play really tries to emphasize. Not just the awful things that have happened to her, but how those things were recorded and shared and how that has impacted her far beyond what she should have had ordinarily had to deal with as a victim of sexual assault. I really connect with that overarching struggle as a female living in our modern society. I feel the camaraderie between people who have suffered these kind of things, and I’m honestly just trying to do this story justice, to be truthful about their experience and represent these people who have been through such horrible things and have come out the other side like Fresh does.
How do you relate to Maria?
Alex Henderson: The fact that she sees people’s shit for what it actually is. She’s very aware, and she notices the problems when they are there immediately, and she stays out of them. So I have always related to the idea of that observance and awareness.
What kind of research did you do to prepare for this role?
KL: A lot of reflection on experiences that friends have had; being a part of those experiences as an affiliate, not necessarily as a victim. Delving into the multitudes of reactions when a trauma occurs. It’s not all sadness and it’s not all anger, it’s a smorgasbord of all kinds of different emotions and things that crop up, so really trying to figure out how all those things play into one person and then being able to drop into them very quickly for the way our show is set up.
AH: I had a friend who passed away, who was trans, and I ended up doing a film about it, because I didn’t know that she was trans actually. I didn’t know that was happening in her life. I took it on myself to not only make something for myself to understand it more, but to also just understand what I’m ignorant towards. I’ve gotten a lot of information from ABC news interviews with kids talking about being trans, ‘cause it’s so simple at that age—it’s like “this is how I feel.” I’m trying to find personal accounts from people.
Alex, You’re playing a trans woman. How do you bring honesty and truth to that experience without having gone through it yourself?
AH: I can never truly be that person. I think this is a huge problem with Hollywood and TV: we forget that people are just people and they can play many different roles. The best thing I can do is do my research, look at interviews, and also remember that this is a woman at the end of the day. You can put a label on it if you want as trans, but at the end of the day, this is someone who is a woman and wakes up as a woman and lives her life as a woman. That is the grounded part of her from the beginning.
What do you hope audiences take away from this show?
KL: This show deals with so many different things. What I take away from it is a lesson of resilience on behalf of Fresh in terms of her and Maria’s friendship. There’s a special kind of forgiveness that doesn’t necessarily mean directly forgiving people who have done an unforgivable thing, but rather the idea of letting go, especially in a modern world where we have technology that does its best to preserve all of our experiences. How can we be able to drop some of the things we’ve been through when we have records of them and so many things that remind us of what we’ve been through? How can we let that be and move on with our lives? How do we construct a new narrative for ourselves? I hope it’s a hopeful piece. I hope they come and see this show and take something away maybe from their own lives or something from the lives of the people around them, maybe even forgive a best friend or maybe make the conscientious decision to let go of something that is holding you back.
AH: I hope they understand that technology is dangerous, and at the same time it’s a huge privilege that we must not take for granted. I think technology is the wild west of the world: it’s so free and so open to everything and anything can happen, so much so that it’s dangerous for people to live their lives sometimes. You have to be careful about everything. I hope people understand the power of the internet and the privilege we have to use it every single day of our lives.
Click runs March 30 through April 2 in the Greene Theatre at Emerson College.