Really Really, written by Paul Downs Colaizzo is inspired in the 2006 Crystal Gail Magnum vs. Duke University alleged rape accusation; an accusation of rape made against three members of the university’s rugby team. Nevertheless, the dramaturg chose not to use specifics, eliciting a sense of identification based on the scene rather than on a particular setting. Hence, Really Really is indeed a well-made play; a comedy at a time, and a psychological thriller at another. The play exposes the realities of the life on campus, dotting it with sharp conflicts that set the plot in motion through discoveries and reversals. The characters are regular individuals easily found on any college campus, walking through life as many college students do, doing their part in the society’s version of the initiation ritual that marks the beginning of adulthood. Really Really showcases the reality of being a millennial, the realities of going to college in America and the results of Baby Boomers’ upbringing.
The story and its characters are so closely knitted that it is difficult separating them from the plot; from their circumstances. The actions are often unclear, the dialogues go one after another swiftly, often hard to understand for older audiences due to the use of slang, giving an impression of reality that suspends one’s judgment and adding confusion to the plot. From that perspective, it is possible signaling the speed of the dialogues and the plethora of rising actions as elements that encompass college life and the lives of young people. Keggers, hangovers, sex; it all combines to provide a raw picture of contemporary college life.
Consequently, in the play, we are presented with people with aimless types. Jocks, underachievers, party animals, rich kids, mixed in the same scenario and made interact together almost as if the writer wanted to see what happened in his social experiment. Thus, the play can be seen and studied as a psychodrama of the “me” generation, a drama that depicts the adjustments of a group of youngsters in college and the consequences of their actions. The play plays with the theme of rape with an amoral impetus, falling in the “she said, you said, they said,” exposing the nature of sexual assault in colleges as a person of this generation would have, using social media. Therefore, after word gets out about Leigh’s accusations, it becomes a rumor aroused by the social media imagery, which means they are necessarily relying on their peers for support; it is not a matter of truth, it becomes a game of who gets more exposure and convinces the rest. Under that light, Really Really criticizes the character’s unconscious decision of creating their story through the use of the tools at the millennials disposal, instead of relying on conventional methods to expose the situation.
Similarly, the play threads a set of issues throughout the storyline. One of those issues is class: Leigh has had a troubled childhood and sports a lower socioeconomic status than her classmates. This fact, although never overrepresented, becomes a capital part of the character’s construction, bolstered by her sister’s appearance. It is important to note Colaizzo’s wink to the way justice works and whom it chooses to believe, and in a play such as Really Really that leaves the spectators with the doubt, it can go both ways. Leigh, full of generational angst and class rage is capable of anything but so is Davies, who must have been used to his privilege and the benefits it entails. Therefore, more than attempting to ascertain the culprit, the play dissects the millennial generation through the rape culture that has formed in college campuses, a trend that does not seem to be about to end.
Moreover, the play is geared towards millennials and current college students because sexual assault still exists in the college environment, becoming a universal issue that needs to stop. Really Really tackles an intense subject matter and being a such an important part of the current campus’ lives, it needs to be discussed due to its intensity. Even if there is not a solution it does not need to be one, as raising awareness is also capital when it comes to facing it. That is why the play as been so widely produced and discussed. Also, due to the fact that on-campus sexual violence is still a heated subject, it is possible its popularity increases in the following years. From this standpoint, the piece reflects the process of facing sexual assault in a setting where it is never accordingly managed. Instead, the process faces a myriad of obstacles that make it dirty and terrible to handle, which in turn reflects the country’s justice system and the laws every university makes and how they choose to enforce to either help of condemning students.
Ultimately, history has proven that on-campus sexual assaults are often mishandled, and if we add the layer of the millennial generation, a generation that has other tools to prosecute the offenders, it becomes a much murkier issue as some individuals involved exponentially increases. Victim and aggressor become part of the public spotlight, each of them gathering support as if the situation called for third parties to defend them. This, in particular, is a reflect of the millennial attitude toward issues because even though they cannot change anything of what they see, it is crucial being informed. As a consequence, the public knowledge of these type of events creates as many interpretations as the amount of individuals who hear or read about these instances. This, albeit good-natured, is a symptom of this generation’s attitude towards conflict as every single person has an opinion; it does not matter if it is an educated opinion or not, they just have one, making the search for truth harder than ever.