i am currently collecting monologues or short scenes written about sexual violation to include here, as well as suggestions for plays to include. for now, read i know there are more, i promise, i will seek them out and post them here eventually.
extremities by william mastrosimone.
titus andronicus by william shakespeare (many other shakespeare plays also include sexual violation)
how i learned to drive by paula vogel.
for now, read i know there are more, i promise, i will seek them out and post them here eventually.
i know there are more, i promise, i will seek them out and post them here eventually.
I am walking on a path of stepping stones. Small, flat stones spaced equally upon the barren ground. And I step slowly, from one stone to the next. There are no trees here; no bird song, or breezes fill the air. No sun, nor moon, nor sky. Only a shrouded land of barren ground, and stepping stones. There is no choice here, and no direction but forward.
Remember helplessness. Remember the stillness of indecision. Remember that choices will be made for you.
Last fall, I couldn't imagine the depth of human cruelty that existed within my realm. I thought that the 'bad people' were living on t.v. and in the newspapers, doing horrible things in other places, and making nightmares in other peoples' lives.
But he was my nightmare. The monster under my bed. The monster who came into my life without his monster face on. Instead he was so charming, so twisted in motive and voice, that I couldn't begin to understand his words.
Remember confusion. Remember the emptiness of lies. Remember that words don't have to mean anything.
Sometimes, I felt powerful, as though I had mastered some thing that other people didn't know about. Because he was older, and more real than other guys I knew. Because he was crushing, and strong, and full of sex.
But mostly, I just felt disgusted. Disgusted in him, in myself, and disgusted at a world that would not come to my rescue.
I was 16. He had a reputation. And no one saved me.
No one came to drag him off of me, no one came to pull me away... no one even
noticed all the times we left together. Just me and him. Alone on a barren path.
I step back into this world, and I see sunshine, birds and trees but I am no longer glazed in innocence. I wanted someone to save me, but I wouldn't accept help. I wanted someone to love me, and I knew that he didn't. I hated what I was doing, but I didn't stop. And for this, I have no excuse.
I am wounded, virginal, but not whole. Angry, but not consumed. My friends want
to kill him for what he did to me, but I just wish I could stop him from ever
touching another girl. I feel safe now, confident in my own strength, but I am
appalled at the number of girls with stories like mine. I'd rather be alone than
kiss someone I didn't love. I'd rather say "no" than "OK..." I'd rather be
anywhere else than on that path of stepping stones.
QUESTION THE SILENCE
with thanks to patricia and her book, for inspiration
(actors will “morph” on the phrases which are capitolized, but otherwise there is no added impact)
(butterfly is wearing a white dress)
(lights come up, dim upstage and brighter downstage, butterfly is huddled downstage left, on her knees with arms wrapped around body, head down, actors are already on stage. upstage, from actor’s right to left...actor #1 (female), actor #2 (male), actor #3 (female), actor #4 (male), actor #5 (female), actor #6 (female), actor #7 (male), actor #8 (female), actor #9 (male), in a broken line, in their order but staggered, jagged, abrupt)
(moment of silence, butterfly rocks back and forth, actors begin, leaving pauses between each statement, with blank faces and equally blank voices)
actor #8 (female): rape is the most frequently committed violent crime in the world.
actor #5 (female): 1 in 2 rape victims is under age 18.
actor #2 (male): 1 in 5 victims of sexual assault is male.
actor #6 (female): less than 1 in 3 rapes is reported to authorities.
actor #3 (female): this year, 262800 women will be raped in america.
actor #9 (male): in 43% of reported rape cases, more than one assailant was involved.
actor #4 (male): 1 in 6 rape victims is under age 12.
actor #1 (female): the typical molester will sexually abuse up to 380 children in their lifetime.
actor #7 (male): at least 12.1 million american women have been victims of rape.
(butterfly has slowly stood up)
(butterfly walks slowly along behind the line from actor’s right to left, touching actor #8 (female), actor #5 (female), and actor #2 (male), who each morph momentarily beneath her touch to become “tormented” - hands shaped strangely, like claws around the face and throat, faces twisted in agony. as butterfly moves on, they return to blankness)
butterfly: these people i have touched represent the percentage of survivors of sexual violence in our troupe, in our audience, in our world. one out of three people. one…out…of…three. (actor #3 (female) moans).
if the occurrence of sexual violation were audible (actors begin moaning/screaming/screeching/sobbing, rising in volume and intensity throughout the next few sentences), with a decibel level equal to its frequency, it would overpower our days and nights, interrupt our lives, a constant reminder of the torture that millions of people endure. we would be unable to ignore this howl of distress, and we would demand an end to it. (actors are silenced abruptly). IF IT DISTURBED US, in our sleepy lives, if it made us uncomfortable in our happy worlds, we would speak out. (actor #5 (female) vocalizes) if it affected us. and tell me, if one in every three people we encounter has been a victim of these crimes, how dare anyone say that it does not affect us?! how dare we ignore this?! how dare we TURN OUR FACES AWAY from these people?! how dare we punish offenders with a slap on the hand and punish victims with hollow questions and UNFAIR JUDGEMENTS?!
actor #6 (female): well look at the way she was dressed
actor #2 (male): she shouldn’t have been acting so sexy
actor #9 (male): he’s gay, of course men will take advantage of him
actor #5 (female): you know you wanted it
butterfly: how dare we offer criticisms instead of support?! these are the once-pure individuals who have lost themselves and THEIR INNOCENCE IN UNMENTIONABLE ACTS of greed and destruction. these are the people who have to crawl out from beneath this haze of darkness and fear and revoltion to realize that they are still pure, they are still human, they are still worthy. how dare we look these people in their eyes, look into their PAIN AND TRUTH AND TORTURE AND FEAR and say things like, well you shouldn’t have been...
actor #1 (female): drunk
actor #4 (male): walking alone
actor #9 (male): flirting
actor #3 (female): friends with someone like that
actor #8 (female): out late
actor #2 (male): so careless
actor #7 (male): dating them in the first place
(actor #4 (male) vocalizes)
butterfly: how dare we look at the victims of childhood sexual abuse, children who have been forced, bribed, tricked into these traps and say that it’s this little girl’s fault because she liked the man next door at first and that little boy’s RESPONSIBILITY to take it like a man?! (actor #2 (male) vocalizes) how dare we even suggest that a five or eight or ten year old child would know better than a forty or sixteen or fifty-two year old person?! how dare we even begin to imply that a four-year-old girl can be seductive?!
how dare we confront those who are forced into sexual activity by their partners, BY PEOPLE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO TRUST, with phrases like
actor #5 (female): he bought you that expensive ring…
actor #4 (male): you’ve been together three months already
actor #7 (male): you’re married, of course sex is to be expected
actor #1 (female): but you always liked it before, didn’t you?
butterfly: how dare we answer the questions in the mouths of the betrayed with hostile assumptions based on socially-enforced myth?! how dare we look at the numbers, at the statistics, at the truth, and STILL SOMEHOW FORCE OURSELVES INTO BELIEVING that sexual violation happens to only a certain kind of person?! how dare we tell someone that because they’ve been raped it makes them
(slow, hang on every word, morph with the world to being “tormented” and remain in that position, moving slightly, butterfly breaks more with each word)
actor #8 (female): dirty
actor #3 (female): used up
actor #7 (male): soiled
actor #9 (male): slutty
actor #4 (male): broken
actor #6 (female): crazy
actor #1 (female): unloveable
actor #5 (female): frigid
actor #2 (male): worthless
(all writhe throughout the next statement, larger gaps growing between movements until they are frozen in a sculpture of torment at “we must end this pact”)
butterfly: how dare we trivialize, generalize and criticize these victims, these survivors, these people who have lived through unspeakable horrors and a thousand subtle deaths?! how dare we continue to ignore what goes on every single day, in every single part of the world, to every kind of person?! how dare we condone the silence of sexual violation?! how dare we condemn the silent ones?! the silence must be broken. we must all speak, as survivors, as friends, as lovers, as supporters. we must end this pact of silence, and free those still held by the chains of violation.
(cast lets out soft sigh/moan)
(silent pause, butterfly brings her hands to her chest and looks up)
HOW MANY STARS
You Make Me
Make me pretty/Make me nude
Make me ugly/Make me rude
You make me want to scream inside
You make me want to rip out the pieces of me you touched
Spit you out/like some foreign tongue
Salty and bitter with fear
You make me afraid to be alone/afraid of where it might get me
You make me wonder and wander and worry,
does he still care/You make me hate you
It runs between my legs red as blood/It stains my heart
You make me want to hurt myself/for not being it all for you
For not being enough/for anyone
Make me pretty/you make me want to scream inside
Make me nude/you make me want to rip out the pieces of me you touched
Make me ugly/spit you out
Make me rude/You make me want to hate you
Make me pretty/you make me want to hurt myself
Make me pretty/for not being it all for you
Make me pretty/for not being enough
Make me pretty/for anyone
Make me pretty/Make me pretty
You make me/You make me/
You make me-
How Many Stars
I’m fourteen/I mean I’m not, but I am/I’m a child in
love with a child/I’m in his
hands and in his arms and I feel so safe/and I give myself over because I
love him and I
want him to love me/but he couldn’t/and so we’re alone and
it’s cold and I want him to
hold me/but not the way he does/and he’s pulling me closer/he’s
pulling me into
him/it’s like he’s pulling me out of myself and into him/and I
hate the feeling but I love
the attention and so I don’t say anything/he kisses me and he’s
pulling me into him and
we’re alone and all I wanted was to be held/but he’s touching
me and it’s ok because I
trust him/we’re alone and it’s too hot for clothing/or at least
that’s what he says/and I
can see the stars outside/they look cool and distant/he’s on me/above
and full of something more/he gets too close and I push him away/I say I
that and he smiles and I think he understands because I’m a child and
I trust him/he
smiles and his eyes are careful/so I lay back down and I’m quiet/his
hands are rubbing
me/ripping me/it’s painful and I feel like crying and I just want it
to be over/we’re
pleasure and we’re pain/it’s beautifully ugly and I just want
to be anywhere else except
under him/fear creeps and crawls beneath my innocent fingers/and I
can’t help but feel
swallowed up/lost and falling/all I can see is the
stars/safe/boundless/crystal clear in
cynicism/a shock runs through my body/he’s in me/but this
wasn’t how it should have
been/I didn’t want this/I look down/but can’t close my eyes
soon enough/I think I will
be sick/from you intention and you exemption/my body is dying but my hands
burning/hatred makes itself a home in my stomach/and I think I have counted
infinity/I taste you sick sick surrender/in my mouth that will not let me
many stars have seen this before/tell me/How many times has someone slipped,
silently, away/It’s over/he’s talking to me but in words I
don’t understand/we are
parted/the night is neither inviting nor threatening/merely empty/like my
empty/like my tears/and it’s all so short/it’s like some cruel
joke that no one
gets/except I’m laughing/to try and stop the pain/and you can make me
pretty and you can
make me nude/you can make me ugly and you can make me rude/and when all I
can do is
scream inside/you can never make me enough for me/