Testimonials for Solid Lines Productions

“I loved working with Solid Lines Productions on the UMSL Voices project. Sexual assault and rape culture are tough topics to tackle at best, but working with Chris and his team was inspiring. Their hands on work with the students to bring their stories to life  humanized the issues that our society faces. I can’t wait to work with Solid Lines again in the future.” – Colleen Pace, Fraternity & Sorority Life and Student Organizations Coordinator at UMSL

“Telling immersive stories uniquely connects viewers empathetically to lives that are very different from their own.  Solid Lines Productions does this deftly, blending fearlessness and sensitivity to initiate discussions about difficult, taboo topics in a way that honors and heals the pain provoked.  We have so enjoyed working with Chris and have found his passion and talent to be a much-needed addition to our outreach, offering opportunities to discuss challenging issues that affect many people on our campus.  FIVE KINDS OF SILENCE did an excellent job of exploring why survivors of sexual abuse stay, and how abusers so effectively control their victims, and confronted common listener reactions of ‘If someone did that to me, I would…’  Solid Lines Productions returned the next semester to develop our new story-telling project, which allowed us to collaborate and develop relationships with other offices on campus.  Chris and his actors worked tirelessly with our students at workshops to develop their stories, culminating in a popular performance that offered a safe space to share the pain, anger, confusion, and even humor found in navigating rape culture.  When the zeitgeist demands avoidance and silence, social justice theatre challenges the constructed prohibitions and offers attendees the chance to confront and process the hurt in others that can be shared by all.” – Laura Holt, Counseling Psychologist and Outreach Coordinator at UMSL

Solid Lines Productions is a great community group with which to partner. We have collaborated with them on a number of initiatives related to sexual assault awareness and advocacy. Chris does a wonderful job identifying and understanding the needs of our student population/campus and then working to meet those needs through his resources.  Having EXTREMITIES and FIVE KINDS OF SILENCE  brought to our campus by professional actors was extremely easy on our end and impactful for our students. Chris lets you be as involved as you can be. The talk back sessions after shows with the students and actors is remarkable. We’ve taken our collaboration further through additional events over the last two years. The talent, commitment to social change, and willingness of Solid Lines Productions to try anything is unmatched. Actors bring to life everyday issues surrounding sexual violence in a raw, personable manner.  Through performance, students see issues in a different light and leave events hungry to talk more about the subject matter—hungry to find more ways to be involved and take action.” – Jamie Matthews, Former Assistant Director of the Morris University Center at SIUE

“Having Solid Lines Productions visit our campus was a worthwhile and important event for the student body to witness.  The tenor of the staged reading of FIVE KINDS OF SILENCE was not only impactful, but drove home the point of domestic abuse in such a way that allowed for thoughtful meditation and conversation after.  Solid Lines produces edgy work that keeps audiences alert to the reality of human existence, but is mindful to have a professional counselor on hand in the event that a patron needs further assistance.  It is for those reasons that our institution looks forward to having Solid Lines visit on a regular basis.”  – Michelle Rebollo, Professor of Theatre at  St. Louis Community College-Meramec

“The counseling center director and I were approached by Chris to put on a play at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. He was excited about the production, willing to share the script, and communicative on a consistent basis. His charismatic energy was infectious, and his commitment to destigmatizing mental health through the arts was appealing and consistent with our value systems. We were excited about bringing this production to our campus. An interaction that most stands out was being asked by Chris and Dr. Jamie Linsin to openly share feedback on the production once it was over. I recall sharing my perspective on the conflation of some of the diagnoses that were presented, and was impressed the willingness of all parties involved to hear this feedback and take it home to integrate in the next production of this play. I value being heard, and this value was more than honored during my interactions with the agents of Solid Lines Productions.” – Courtney Boddie, former Counseling Psychologist at STLCOP


*The following testimonials were written by people who saw Extremities under the auspices of The Aegis Project which preceded Solid Lines Productions. The Aegis Project was founded by the same director, Christopher LaBanca*


“As the Director of SBI Health Education (the non-profit, student-owned organization on the campus of the University at Buffalo), I was happy to bring the project to the campus community…Rape crisis advocates are on-hand during the production, demonstrating Chris’ understanding of survivors’ needs…In the end, [Solid Lines Productions] can serve as a powerful, layered vehicle for fundraising, advocacy, volunteerism, and support for programs and services within a campus and community…
It is my hope that [SLP] continues to collaborate with colleges, universities, and communities to bring a powerful and meaningful conversation to the stage and to the campus.” – Jane Fischer, Director of SBI Health Education at SUNY Buffalo

“On March 23, 2012, I was proud to sponsor a performance of a reading of William Mastrosimone’s play about rape, EXTREMITIES, produced by Christopher LaBanca’s AEGIS PROJECT… I am proud to say we filled two vehicles to their ceilings and stuffed the trunks with items desperately needed by women who often leave violent relationships in the middle of the night with nothing more than the clothes on their backs… Thanks directly to Mr. LaBanca’s efforts, close to one thousand members of six academic communities in Western New York had an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about the implications of rape culture for our society, a dialogue in which they would not have engaged had we not had the opportunity to host AEGIS PROJECT.” – Dr. Randy Kaplan, Professor of Theatre and Dance at SUNY Geneseo

“…perhaps most importantly, [Solid Lines Productions] is important because of its impact on people like me: defenders at our core who want so desperately to affect positive change and impact upon the world, but are completely ignorant to the fact that our desire to ‘be appropriate’ in our conversation has seen us neglect our role…I didn’t know there was anything I could do, but now, I am a mouthpiece for awareness amongst those I love most and strive to increase my circumference of support for the rights we all deserve and are not all afforded.” – John Kaczorowski, Actor (Raul)

“I witnessed theatre at its best as the well-developed and specific mission statement of The Aegis Project fulfilled its goal in leaving a lasting impression on the audience (beyond just production quality and personal aesthetics), successfully implementing clarity, focus, and compassion to achieve the main objective.” – Kay Kerimian, artist and audience member (Daemen performance)

“Sexual Assault is an important topic on a college campus, for men AND women, to have an environment that encourages open dialogue, and [Solid Lines Productions] is a great way to jump start that.” – Kyrie Kirn, former student and audience member (SUNY Alfred performance)

“I have been working in the violence prevention field for the last 5 years, and have found that the use of theater is a very profound way to get the message across to your audience. When seeing a performance like EXTREMITIES, it may be a bit overwhelming at times, but having the talk back after the show allows for the audience to release some of the emotions that are built up, and having counselors on hand to speak with anyone who may need it is also very beneficial. This show can be a release for survivors; it gives them a platform to speak about their experience and thoughts instead of just seeing the play and having to deal with their emotions on their own.” – Nicole Sweeney, Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence (Finance Chair)

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