No is a Complete Sentence

No is a Complete Sentence is an interactive skill-building performance that focuses on the issue of stalking as a form of intimate partner violence. It helps audience members recognize predatory strategies, learn how to end a relationship with a stalker, and allows students to practice assertive communication strategies. It is currently performed by students at California State University of Long Beach.

Marc D. Rich
Program Name Level of Evidence Format Target Audience Special Features
No is a Complete Sentence
Promising Direction
  • In-person Workshop
  • Presentation
  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate Students
Focuses on stalking.
Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • learn to recognize predatory strategies
  • practice assertive communication strategies and boundary setting
  • rehearse bystander interventions with trained actor-educators
  • understand cyberstalking, and learn how to protect their online identity
  • understand the warning signs of controlling intimate partners
  • learn how to safely end a relationship with a stalker

The performance features multiple interactive scenes where audience members enroll as bystanders and join the actor-educators on stage to intervene and prevent relationship violence.  In addition, there is a PowerPoint presentation on predatory strategies, and an original video collage of stalking in popular culture that illuminates how Hollywood has used the genre of romantic comedies to minimize this crime.  The context for the interactive scenes is college dating and stalking, and there are heterosexual and LGBT scenes included. After the performance, the actor-educators lead a discussion with audience members.


One performance, 75 minutes in length


While the performance can be held in front of a large group, a smaller audience might contribute to a more intimate experience.

Population Served

Undergraduates, graduate students, men, women, greek, athletes

Theoretical Basis For Approach

The curriculum was influenced by the NYTimes bestseller The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, a leading national expert in stalking. His firm handles the highest-risk stalking cases in the U.S. The curriculum was also informed by current research in threat assessment and stalking, and the clear need for the development and assessment of stalking prevention programs for colleges. The bystander interventions used in this program are informed by research in a variety of interactive theatre models, including Theatre of the Oppressed, Psychodrama, and Drama Therapy.

Program Effectiveness

Initial evaluation through one-group pre/posts tests and qualitative interviews has demonstrated that participants enjoyed the presentation, could identify predatory strategies, and felt it was relevant to their lives. A journal article detailing these results is forthcoming.

We have just completed an empirical study on our interactive stalking and intimate partner violence program. The title of the study is: “No is a Complete Sentence:” Considering the Efficacy of a Stalking Prevention Program.

Post-performance, we found that the 293 audience members had greater ‘operational knowledge’ about stalking, higher degrees of ‘agency’ (ability to apply what they learned to their lives), and lower belief in rape myths. Qualitative feedback from open-ended surveys supported these quantitative finding.

Linfield College
University of Connecticut
Stevens Institute of Technology
National University of Ireland, Galway
Cerritos College
Pomona College
Long Beach Women’s Shelter
Cal Lutheran University
Santa Ynez Reservation
California State University, Long Beach

Theatrical performances like this one a great way to enhance cross-departmental collaborations on the issue of sexual violence: the theater department can work with anti-violence student groups and the Title IX office. That we know of, there are no other educational programs that focus solely on stalking, making this program very unique.


No is a Complete Sentence is performed by a troupe based out of California State University at Long Beach. They accept requests to perform around the country for audiences as big as 1,400 people. For each performance they require airfare, accommodations, ground transportation and a stipend. For more information, contact Marc D. Rich at