How to Defend Yourself Tickets
New York, NY

How to Defend Yourself Tickets

Step inside a self defense class like no other.
How to Defend Yourself Tickets
How to Defend Yourself Tickets

About How to Defend Yourself

"I wish girls fought more. Like beat the sh_t out of each other for fun. I wish that was like a socially acceptable thing to do. Fight club, you know? If it was me and you, I think I’d win."

In a DIY self-defense class, college students learn to use their bodies as weapons. They learn to fend off attackers. They learn “not to be a victim.” Self-defense becomes a channel for their rage, anxiety, confusion, trauma and desire—lots of desire.

"You asked how I like it, that’s how I like it."

"Maybe you can interrogate why you like that."

"Maybe you can interrogate why it scares you."

With sharp humor and brutal honesty, Liliana Padilla’s How to Defend Yourself explores what we want, how to ask for it, and the violator and violated inside us all. Tony Award-winning NYTW Usual Suspect Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Susan Smith Blackburn finalist Liliana Padilla (TWITCH) and Princess Grace Award winner Steph Paul (The Last Match) will co-direct the production.

How to Defend Yourself discusses but does not depict sex and sexual violence.

Run time

100 minutes (with no intermission)

Start date

February 24th, 2023

End date

April 2nd, 2023


How to Defend Yourself cast and creative team

By: Liliana Padilla
Director: Rachel Chavkin, Liliana Padilla, Steph Paul
Producer: New York Theatre Workshop
Cast list: Amaya Braganza, Sebastian Delascasas, Jayson Lee, Ariana Mahallati, Teagan Meredith, Gabriela Ortega, Sarah Marie Rodriguez, Talia Ryder
Design: You-Shin Chen
Costumes: Izumi Inaba
Lighting: Stacey Derosier
Sound: Mikhail Fiksel
Other info: Fight direction by Rocio Mendez, intimacy coordination by Ann James, vocal coaching by Dawn-Elin Fraser


79 East 4th Street, New York, NY, United States, 10003

More information about How to Defend Yourself

Please note that How to Defend Yourself discusses, but does not depict, sexual violence.

Brace yourself for Liliana Padilla's new play How to Defend Yourself, making its world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop. Get How to Defend Yourself tickets on TodayTix.

The How to Defend Yourself play is set mainly at a self-defense workshop, which a group of college students create after their sorority sister is assaulted. They're determined to learn how to fight back, how to avoid being a victim, how to stand up for themselves. Self-defense becomes an outlet for all types of emotions, but it also forces them to examine the line between violator and violated in each of them.

Padilla is doing double duty, as she also co-directs How to Defend Yourself off Broadway. Alongside her are Rachel Chavkin, the Tony Award-winning director of Hadestown and Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, and Steph Paul, a veteran director at regional theatres all across the U.S.

Get How to Defend Yourself tickets now.

What to Watch For

  • How to Defend Yourself in New York marks Padilla's Off-Broadway debut as both a writer and director.
  • Chavkin is having a busy season. In addition to co-directing How to Defend Yourself off Broadway, she's directing The Thanksgiving Play on Broadway. Her Hadestown has also been on Broadway since 2019, and she'll stage the new musical Gatsby in Massachusetts next year.
  • New York Theatre Workshop hosts free self-defense workshops before select performances.
  • How to Defend Yourself won the Yale Drama Series Prize in 2019.


Unfortunately, tickets for this event are no longer available.

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