How to Defend Yourself

Seven college students gather for a DIY self-defense workshop after a sorority sister is raped. They learn to use their bodies as weapons. They learn to fend off attackers. They learn “not to be a victim.” Learning self-defense becomes a channel for their rage, anxiety, confusion, trauma and desire – lots of desire. HOW TO DEFEND YOURSELF explores what you want, how to ask for it, and the insidious ways rape...
Seven college students gather for a DIY self-defense workshop after a sorority sister is raped. They learn to use their bodies as weapons. They learn to fend off attackers. They learn “not to be a victim.” Learning self-defense becomes a channel for their rage, anxiety, confusion, trauma and desire – lots of desire. HOW TO DEFEND YOURSELF explores what you want, how to ask for it, and the insidious ways rape culture steals one's body and sense of belonging.
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How to Defend Yourself

Recommended by

  • Quinn Xavier Hernandez:
    24 Aug. 2018
    Lily Padilla doesn’t shy away from presenting themes openly. HOW TO DEFEND YOURSELF puts a mirror up to rape culture, but does more than examine one person’s reaction. By focusing on the effects on the community around the unseen violence, we can more easily process our own reactions and truly ask ourselves what we would do or if we would feel differently. #PlaywrightPlug
  • Tanuja Devi Jagernauth:
    9 Aug. 2018
    I had the honor of seeing a staged reading of this play in Chicago at Victory Gardens' 10th Annual Ignition Fest. This reading had me gasping, cheering, and holding my breath in the very best ways. In short, I highly recommend it. It presents the complexities of desire, consent, and community accountability in a way that I have not yet seen, and I cannot wait to see the next version of this powerful piece of theatre.
  • Sharai Bohannon:
    8 Aug. 2018
    We need more plays that tackle rape culture and we need more plays that are able to look at how violent crimes ripple throughout a community. I also like that it's set in a college because rape statistics are high in college, but amount of schools that get involved are extremely low. This is an important play that needs to be produced and discussed.

Development History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Victory Gardens Ignition Festival
    ,
    2018
  • Workshop
    ,
    Ojai Playwrights Conference
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    UC San Diego
    ,
    2017
  • Residency
    ,
    Anderson Center
    ,
    2017

Production History

  • University
    ,
    UC San Diego
    ,
    2018