Excellent! Victory Gardens and Actors Theatre of Louisville Present How to Defend Yourself at Victory Gardens Theatre (Through February 23, 2020)

A pair of undergrad women are waiting in a gym to take a self-defense class. They are also rushing a sorority together. The two teachers enter, who are members of the sorority. The class was started because one of their sisters was the victim of sexual abuse. They are all determined to learn how to defend themselves. Later on, a quiet and shy girl awkwardly joins. At last, two fraternity brothers show up. They immediately state that they don’t support the masculine culture that lead to the abuse as they try to keep their cool being the only men. 

The group really comes together and supports each other. There is a great moment when the music is cranked up for a great training scene. There is also a lot of funny dialog as they discuss their experiences with college. This leads to them building strong relationships which they then rely on to tackle the bigger issues. 

Walker, Lee, Crivelli, Mahallati, McBride. Liz Lauren Photo

Isa Arciniegas (Fun Home, The Wolves) is excellent as Diana, the strong girl who is really looking forward to learning self-defense and working with guns. Ariana Mahallati is great as the innocent and cheery friend of Diana. Andrew San Miguel is so good as the awkward girl nervously making her way through class. Anna Crivelli is strong as the main teacher, who has something to hide. Netta Walker is complicated as the secondary teacher, who has a lot to say about her sexual preferences. Jayson Lee is very funny as the fraternity brother who is having a lot of trouble finding a girlfriend. Lastly, Ryan McBride is hilarious as the Andy Sandberg type fraternity brother who is naturally charismatic and good with the ladies. 

The entire play is great except for the ending. It kind of comes out of nowhere and doesn’t really fit the tone of the play and they should consider changing it.

Get tickets now for How to Defend Yourself through February 23!

Cost of a ticket: $51

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

The cast of How to Defend Yourself. Liz Lauren Photo

Quinn Delaney

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