Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin collaborates with playwright Liliana Padilla and Steph Paul on How to Defend Yourself at New York Theatre Workshop. Get How to Defend Yourself tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
The How to Defend Yourself play takes place at a college self-defense workshop, which seven girls create for themselves after their sorority sister is raped. As they learn not to be "victims" and use their bodies to attack their attackers, their training becomes an outlet for many conflicting feelings: anger, confusion, trauma, desire. How to Defend Yourself explores the line between violated and violater and the means we use to get what we want.
Playwright Liliana Padilla makes her Off-Broadway debut with How to Defend Yourself in New York. Before its premiere, the play was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and made the 2019 Kilroys List; both honors are for outstanding plays by female and non-male writers.
Padilla co-directs How to Defend Yourself off Broadway alongside two others: Rachel Chavkin and Steph Paul. Chavkin is best known for her Tony Award-winning direction of the Broadway musical Hadestown; she received an additional Tony Award nomination for Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812. She leads the TEAM, a Brooklyn-based theatre company whose works have played all over the world.
Paul is a director with a background in movement. She has directed shows including The Wolves, which earned her a Helen Hayes Award, and the world premiere of Where the Mountain Meets the Sea, which made its New York debut in the 2022-23 theatre season. In 2021, she was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists.
Please note that How to Defend Yourself contains discussions of sex and sexual violence. These situations are not portrayed on stage.
Get How to Defend Yourself play tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
100 minutes (with no intermission)
February 24th, 2023
April 2nd, 2023
By: Liliana Padilla
Director: Rachel Chavkin, Liliana Padilla, Steph Paul
Producer: New York Theatre Workshop
Cast list: Amaya Braganza, Sebastian Delascasas, Jayson Lee, Ariana Mahallati, Teagan Meredith, Gabriela Ortega, Sarah Marie Rodriguez, Talia Ryder
Design: You-Shin Chen
Costumes: Izumi Inaba
Lighting: Stacey Derosier
Sound: Mikhail Fiksel
Other info: Fight direction by Rocio Mendez, intimacy coordination by Ann James, vocal coaching by Dawn-Elin Fraser
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