Wednesday, May 18

Do we offend you?

Sex Educators step up to the Stage, using 'Passion Plays' to Preach about Sacred Sexuality.

       Article by Kamala Devi, as commissioned by http://www.wordsarenotenough.info

      Before the weekend's big show, my husband and ran to a new salon for a last minute hairdo.  The innocent beautician asked, "What kind of actors are you?"
      Having established that she never heard of the Vagina Monologues, but watches Sex in the City, I tell her,      "I'm the director of a local theater troupe called, SD Tantra Theater. We a band of about a dozen sex-positive teachers and healers who use performance art to educate and entertain.
      Snip. Snip.
      "In a sense it's political because we are stepping up and talking about sexual taboos in front of hundreds of people."
      Blink. Blink. She stares at me blankly.
      "It could also be seen as our ministry, because we do everything in the context of ritual and our work is infused with a spiritual message."
      "But are you playing some kind of role?" She presses innocently.
      "I'm playing the role of a prostitute from ancient Egypt. My husband Michael is a man who can't stop orgasm-ing, we've got other players who tell stories about healing STDs, coming out transgendered, and even practicing sacred sadomasochism."
      "Wow." She continues, "Do you ever have to compromise your morals onstage? I mean, does your husband have to kiss other actresses--with tongue?"
      "Sometimes there is deep kissing and petting onstage. But that doesn't necessarily compromise our morals." I suggest. 
     "Are you like swingers?"
      "Sort of, some of our players prefer the term  "Open" "Polyamorus" or "Free Love."  Some of us are also, married, professionals, parents, activists and believe it or not a few of our players are practicing celibates. But nobody has to comprise their morals, because each performer is also an author, so the scripts are specifically designed to help the author heal the guilt and shame they carry around sex and spirituality."
"My dad still gives me a hard time about having sex before I'm married. Is that the kind of taboo you're talking about?"
"Exactly. Or that we're not supposed to masturbate in public, or tasting your own menstrual blood."
      "Ew. Gross."She glances at me in the mirror. 
      "Sorry, did I take it too far? Our performances are designed to be personal growth experiences because we say. What everyone else is afraid of saying, and then if you get offended we ask you to look at why your triggered."
      "Mmm. Interesting. You should write a book about it." She says, I think she's trying to change the subject. But I continue. 
      "Tantra can't be learned in a book. Even though I've written two books: Don't drink the Punch and Sacred Sexual Healing.  Tantra is not just an abstract philosophy; it's a direct embodied experience. Historically Tantra is an oral tradition and it involved the 64 temple arts such as dance, music, song, art... 
      Live theater is a perfect outlet for these teachings. Coming to our show is like going to a church service. We bring the community together, turn down the lights, focus everyone's attention, as we entertain and educate in fellowship. Laughter and tears can be healing when shared in a group. Our motto is: you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll come. Again and again."
      "How long have you been at it?"  
      Three years ago I gathered a group of friends, they were mostly improv performers who had varying degrees of experience with Tantra and we started by playing theater games in my backyard. I immediately recognized the psycho dramatic therapeutic potential of our play. Storytelling on topics of shameful sexuality was highly ego confronting and potentially liberating. The safety of this small group dynamic led me to wonder what was possible if we wrestled with our personal growth for 3 months and then took it to a larger stage.  The process is very organic, we just come together and tell stories every week, until eventually a show starts to take shape. This weekend is the graduation of about a dozen players who just finished 90 days of writing and rehearsing around the question: "what makes you sexually unique."  It's called our bohemian show. It is our sixth show. We've since traveled to conferences, performed at festivals, and offer hours of streaming video on our website: www.Tantratheater.tv
      I'm most excited about my forthcoming one-woman-show about sacred prostitution, entitled: the Slut Series. I'll be performing in North Park in July, 2011. I'm using dance, prayer and poetry to bring to life interviews of real life sacred whores. As with all our shows, there will be interactive ritual with the audience. In fact, one of our gifts is to ask audience to volunteer their stories and dramatize them onstage.  We find this gives people permission to see their sex as sacred and their life as art.
      By the end of my monologue, my hairdresser brushes hair off my shoulders and asks me what I think.  The mirror reveals a stylish new cut that looks just like David Beckham's wife.  The hairdresser is proud of herself, "It's sexy enough for your audience, but you can still pull off a soccer mom when you need to." 
      I thank her, and hand her a flyer that reads: "Sacred Sex is not just for the bedroom anymore." The boho show is May 20th &21st.  Doors open at 7:00pm TICKETS are only $20 pre-sale available online or and $25 at the door on the evening of the performance. For more information contact Kali Das TantrikaKaliDas@gmail.com or go to www.tantratheater.tv.  
To purchase discount tickets go to: http://www.partnerplayshop.com/page/page/8090608.htm
     Thanks for supporting the Arts. Hope to see you at the theater,
Kamala Devi

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