A group of communication studies seniors will launch a discussion about masculinity through a variety of performances Tuesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. in the Berg Gallery.

Redefine: Messages About Masculinity was created by communications studies seniors Hannah Martell, Mason Montgomery and Anna Goryachikova. Performers will demonstrate their personal expressions of masculinity through monologues, music, film, poetry and more.

He, his and him are pronouns of the masculine gender. However, Martell said the team is trying to combat this singular definition.

“My definition of masculinity has changed since we started this project back in fall,” Martell said. “I think that when you Google the definition, it comes up as something very exclusive and not inclusive.”

This event is being put on in partnership with the Men & Masculinity Program, which is a part of the Cross Cultural Centers. The program aims to create spaces where individuals can learn about masculinity and its intersection with other identities, according to Men & Masculinity Coordinator Nick Bilich.

Martell said the idea for the project came from a shared interest in education from all three group members.

“We all really believe in education through performance,” Martell said. “The combination of masculinity and performance is where it came from.”

Montgomery said the overarching goal behind the project is for attendees to become allies and have empathy for men and men-identifying individuals, no matter how they choose to display their masculinity.

“I hope that people, men, women or whoever they identify as can see masculinity as positive instead of negative. Something that is helpful instead of hurtful,” Montgomery said.

This two-hour event will consist of 12 different acts.

English junior Cole Tretheway will be reading an original poem on masculinity.

“I don’t know what people are going to take away from my poem, but I hope that my piece is one part of a larger whole and that people can get the impression that everyone has their own idea of what masculinity is,” Tretheway said.

Discussions about masculinity will be weaved into the event, with audience participation strongly encouraged.

Goryachikova said she hopes people leave the event with an open mind, as well as a better understanding of tolerance and acceptance when it comes to masculinity.

“We all perpetuate what it means to be masculine, although I myself don’t identify as masculine, I very much contribute to the overall societal norm of the definition,” Goryachikova said. “After taking a good hard look at what that norm was, I really wanted to change it so that it’s healthier.”

Seats can be reserved online, but the event is free and open to students and community members. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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