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

  • Emma Imes:
    5 May. 2019
    I was lucky enough to see this performed at the humana festival. It was the first time in years that I cried in public. I'm so grateful for this play.
  • Lainie Vansant:
    30 Apr. 2019
    This play tackles a slew of complex issues in a way that doesn't dumb them down or hit its audience over the head with answers. There are wonderful, strong, complicated young women and conversations that need to be had, making this an excellent choice for production in college theater programs and beyond!
  • Paul Gabbard:
    29 Mar. 2019
    This play pushes us with strong physical theatre aligned with powerful language. This story challenges us to reflect on our own journey through this important period in life. I look forward to seeing this piece produced again and again.

Development History

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

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Victory Gardens Theatre
    ,
    2020
  • Professional
    ,
    Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival
    ,
    2019
  • University
    ,
    UC San Diego
    ,
    2018

Awards

Winner
,
Yale Drama Series Prize
,
David Charles Horn Foundation
,
2019
Finalist
,
Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
,
2019