A play lauded by critics for exploring the issue of teenage sexual assault is getting its Halifax premiere.

Written by Katie Cappiello and produced by LunaSea Theatre, Ryanne Chisholm, is directing Slut: The Play for the second time.

According to Chisholm, her first experience of the play felt significant in a university setting, which featured students from St. Francis Xavier University at Theatre Antigonish.

This time, she said the play takes on additional relevance given the political climate of the United States.

"We've not had a world leader so close to us who has bragged about sexual assault without repercussion," Chisholm said, referring to a 2005 video of President Donald Trump making crude comments about groping women.

"It felt really important in 2017 to bring this show to as many young Nova Scotians as we can."

The show will run from Thursday to Saturday.

The story of Slut

Chisholm describes the play's plot as a "slice of life for young women," in which 16-year-old Joey Del Marco is seen interacting with her friends, her dance team and her wider community, until one night she is sexually assaulted.

In the latter half of the play, "We then follow [Joey's] timeline as she gives a statement to the Crown prosecutor about the events of that evening, and while that happens, we see other scenes play out in her community," said Chisholm.

Recent graduate Kya Mosey, who plays Del Marco in this production, said her own experiences in university helped shape the role.

"I really focused on the fact that Joey kind of is every girl," said Mosey. "I think she kind of shows that this could happen to anyone."

Poster

LunaSea Theatre’s latest production features an all-female cast, including Michelle Raine (top left), who says roles for trans women are rare in theatre. (LunaSea Theatre)

As part of its mandate to "highlight the contributions and talents of women to theatre," LunaSea's production features an all-female cast, including Michelle Raine, who identifies as queer and trans.

"When companies like LunaSea are doing an all-female cast and they include a trans woman, that excites me and that makes me want to work really hard to make sure everyone comes to this play," said Raine.

There will be five free performances of Slut: The Play in Halifax, with resources on hand and talkback sessions following every performance with the cast and crew.

Chisholm also hopes to see the production tour throughout Nova Scotia, "to be able to go into communities where there is a barrier."

With files from CBC Radio's Mainstreet