Self Defense, or death of some salesmen by Carson Kreitzer

An’ I’ll tell you why they’re not buying that Self-Defense.

What Self?

Plain an’ simple.

Ask any one of ‘em. They don’t see a self there to defend.

They even say—she sold herself for money.
Sold her Self. No right to fuckin’ defend it now.
— Daytona, Self Defense, or death of some salesmen

Director's Note

Aileen Wuornos had three things against her. She was a woman, she was a sex worker, and she was of a lower socioeconomic class. She was branded the first female serial killer in the United States, though it is well documented that there had been a few dozen female serial killers before Aileen. So why was the media so obsessed with branding her as the first? My theory: Her patterns of killing were masculine. She used a gun, she discarded the bodies off the side of the interstate, she was violent. Therefore, she deserved to be discussed just as much as the infamous male serial killers; John Wayne Gacy, The Zodiac Killer, Ted Bundy. We are fascinated with the masculine. We either ignore, sexualize or invalidate the feminine. Yes, the feminist movement in our country is strong. But our foundation—the patriarchal system—doesn't seem to be going anywhere. In the past and today, sex workers have been marginalized by stigma that portrays them as immoral, dangerous, even diseased figures. In many ways, according to journalist Alison Bass, sex workers have less rights than they did a century and a half ago.

Sex work is real work. Yes means yes. This story needs to be told without Hollywood, without Charlize Theron "bravely" stepping into the role of a woman who deserved to tell her own story.

- Emilie Modaff, Director


Cast & Crew

Hope Barnes

Hope Barnes

Selena Boyer

Selena Boyer

Tara Bouldrey

Tara Bouldrey

David Frederking*

David Frederking*

Na'Imah Graham

Na'Imah Graham

Olivia Kenwell

Olivia Kenwell

Ian Michael James*

Ian Michael James*

Greg Mills*

Greg Mills*

Melissa Young

Melissa Young

HOPE BARNES (DAYTONA, GOODNESS, CASSANDRA CHASE, CORONER 2) is ever-grateful for the opportunity to tell stories and look at the world through new eyes. She trained at the University of Denver, as well as ACT, Pig Iron Theatre, and the Guildhall School. The big loves in her life right now are Shakespeare and creating with an ensemble.

TARA BOULDREY (LU) is a passionate lover of theatre and the arts. Some of her favorite credits include Hamlet, This is Our Youth, Dog Sees God, and The Tempest. She is a founding member of The (Beat) Theatre Collective, and dedicates her performance to their mission. www.tara-bouldrey.com

SELENA BOYER (JO) is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a BFA in Acting. Previous productions include Hecuba, The Identical Same Temptation, Simpatico and a solo performance show, Leave the Fortune, Take the Cookie. Selena is currently a resident curator and board member with the Pilsen located art collective, The Dojo.

DAVID FREDERKING* (CAPTAIN, JUDGE, BYSTANDER) is so happy to be a part of this show and working with such loverly artists. David is a graduate of Columbia College where he received a B.A. in Theatre Arts. He would like to thank all the jerks in the world for inspiring the characters he plays.

NA'IMAH GRAHAM (CHASTITY, MERCY, JEAN, REPORTER) as a native of Chicago, Na’Imah has studied at some of the most revered institutions past and present, including ActOne Studios and Acting Studio Chicago. Some of her past productions include Fuddy Meers and Old Saybrook. After spending time concentrating on film projects, she is thrilled to return to the stage.

OLIVIA KENWELL (ANNIE AMES, PROSECUTOR, SHRINK 1, COP VOICE 2, CORONER 3, WOMAN 2) is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory of Music. Past credits include Lily Byrne in A Man of No Importance, Mrs. Marwood in The Way Of The World, and Skinhead Girl in Polaroid Stories. She would like to thank the No Stakes Theater Project, including Emilie, Clarissa, Erin, Ian, and Joanie, and her Mom and Dad.

IAN MICHAEL JAMES* (BUCKET, FLAKY LAWYER) is an actor, dramaturg, and playwright. Ian graduated from Columbia College Chicago’s Theatre program (BA). Favorite credits include All My Sons (George), The Arsonists (Biedermann), and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (dramaturg). Ian also serves as an Ensemble Member of Mercy Street Theatre Company. www.ianmichaeljames.com

GREG MILLS* (DRUMS, SHRINK 2, MARTY, CAMERAMAN) recently played Polonius in the No Stakes Wingspan adaptation of Hamlet. Other credits include Mr. Boo/Phone Man in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (No Stakes Theater Project), Vice Principal Panch in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Drury Lane), The Second City, Chicago Fire, and Martin Short's Prime Time Glick (writer). 

MELISSA YOUNG (CORONER 1, LEEANN, WALDREN'S GIRL, PANDORA, WOMAN 1) Favorite Roles: Hermia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cecily The Importance of Being Earnest, Winifred, Once Upon a Mattress, and many more. Her one-woman show's Lucky Star and Out & Proud have traveled the country. She is the co-host of the awesome Kiki in A Cup podcast with Aaron Benham. www.melissayoung.com

CHARLIE HANO* reads stage directions.

EMILIE MODAFF* directs.

* denotes a member of No Stakes Theater Project

 

Actors Na'Imah Graham, Selena Boyer, Tara Bouldrey, Hope Barnes, and director Emilie Modaff* in rehearsal

Actors Na'Imah Graham, Selena Boyer, Tara Bouldrey, Hope Barnes, and director Emilie Modaff* in rehearsal