Sharing Secrets

In 2005, playwrights Christa Ray, Elizabeth Stanton and Bethany Urban unveiled Power to Pleasing: The Sex Lives of Teenage Girls. In talk-back sessions afterward, Ray recalls, "one of the topics that consistently came up was, 'What's the boys' point of view?' And we thought, okay, that's our next play."

Two years later, Pressure to Prove: The Sex Lives of Teenage Boys, which debuts tonight as part of the Boulder International Fringe Festival, attempts to answer such questions by way of what Ray calls "moments that are based on real stories and interviews." Among the sequences enacted by cast members such as eighteen-year-old actor Ian Colson is one inspired by a Conference on World Affairs panel about sex and drugs staged at Boulder High School last April, which Fox News yahoo Bill O’Reilly hyped into a culture-war firestorm. "What we were interested in was how the teenagers felt," Ray notes. "No one was asking them what they thought."

Ray and her partners see Pressure to Prove as one way to right that wrong. "We feel like part of our purpose is to provide a forum for voices that are often not heard," she says.

The curtain opens on Pressure to Prove at 9:30 p.m. at Boulder's Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street, with subsequent performances scheduled through Wednesday, August 22. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors — and they’re two-for-one on opening night. To learn more, phone 720-563-9950 or go to
Fri., Aug. 17, 9:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 18, 3:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 19, 6:30 p.m.; Mon., Aug. 20, 5:30 p.m.; Tue., Aug. 21, 9 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 22, 8:30 p.m.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts