How to Defend Yourself - Liliana Padilla & Ayad Akhtar

How to Defend Yourself

By Liliana Padilla & Ayad Akhtar

  • Release Date: 2020-09-22
  • Genre: Theater


A Yale Drama Series-winning play about self-defense, desire, and healing in the aftermath of a college rape

Seven college students gather for a DIY self-defense workshop after a sorority sister is raped. They practice using their bodies as weapons. They wrestle with their desires. They learn the limits of self-defense.
This new play by writer, director, actor, and community builder Liliana Padilla explores the intersection of sex, community, and what it means to heal in a violent world. Padilla shows how learning self-defense becomes a channel for these college students’ rage, anxiety, confusion, trauma and desire. The play examines what one wants, how to ask for it, and the insidious ways rape culture threatens one’s body and sense of belonging.
It is the thirteenth winner of the Yale Drama Series prize, having been selected from over 1,750 entries from sixty-five countries across six continents.