DEVIL IN A BOX
DEVIL IN A BOX
Written and Performed by Sarah Jane Johnson
Directed by Patrice Miller
January 16 – February 1, 2015
The Wild Project
The summer of a lifetime for a small town girl from Nebraska, a chance to study overseas, changes the trajectory of her life forever. A weekend in Paris with friends that ends before it begins, a young woman finds herself in a hospital, an empty shell of who she used to be. After days spent with police and detectives, her assailant jailed, she begins the next chapter of her life: the trial of her rapist.
Sarah Jane takes us on her journey of the successful prosecution, and dealing with the intangible concept of justice, discovers that a conviction does not heal her wounds. With honesty, redemptive humor, and a 24-ounce can of Miller Lite, she purges her experiences of post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV prevention medication, depression, and alcohol abuse. Through tales of Internet dating and the navigation through a foreign legal system by someone who can’t even order a sandwich in French, we find liberation to laugh in spite of it all.
“Sarah Jane brings so much clear-eyed honesty and warmth to her ‘barefoot’ delivery of DEVIL IN A BOX, she truly defies the odds, builds community and mends broken hearts in and through her work. This play welds the heart, coaxes stories and fears out of the doghouse and into a space like the kitchen, warm and real — we all never wanted to leave.”
- Asia Freeman, Artistic Director, Bunnell Street Arts Center
SARAH JANE JOHNSON (writer/performer) created and performs Devil in a Box, a solo performance dealing with rape trauma and recovery, which has been presented at Stage Left Studio in New York City, Out North Contemporary Art House in Anchorage, Alaska, and Bunnell Street Art Center in Homer, Alaska. Sarah Jane, and the creation process of DIAB, will be featured in New York City filmmaker Karin Anderson’s upcoming documentary that interweaves the real stories of rape survivors with expert interviews to give greater voice to the crisis of sexual assault in the United States.
As a professional actor, she has worked at regional theatres across the country including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Swine Palace Productions in Baton Rouge, Depot Theatre in upstate New York and Chashama in New York City. Sarah Jane received her MFA from Louisiana State University’s Professional Actor Training Program. During her enrollment at LSU, she was nominated for the Irene Ryan Award, a nationally recognized award for excellence in acting.
Specializing in teen relationship issues, sexual misconduct and assault, Sarah Jane has recounted her survivor story and conducted educational programming for thousands of high school and college students and faculty across the country with Campus Outreach Services. She created Transforming Trauma, a writing and performance strategy workshop for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, providing a pathway for each survivor to move forward through their trauma, celebrate their bodies and reclaim their voice.
PATRICE MILLER (director) is a director and choreographer whose work has been called “hilarious, provocative” by the Village Voice. Her work has been presented at La Mama, 3-Legged Dog, The Brooklyn Museum, Prelude at the CUNY Graduate Center, Theater Row, The Brick, FRINGENYC and many of the other festivals in NYC, as well as at non-theater spaces including NYC FashionWeek, the 68th Street subway stop, city parks, and art galleries. She was the performance director for 571 Projects, a Chelsea art gallery, where she collaborated with visual artists, including Julie Trembly, to create art-specific performance pieces. She is a member of Untitled Theater Company #61, where she frequently works with Edward Einhorn and Henry Akona. Patrice is also one half of Tux and Tom Productions, where she collaborates with Chris Chappell. She is also known to have spent some creative time with the Institute of Psychogeographic Adventure, Piper McKenzie, and Justin Maxwell. Some of her favorite directing and choreography credits include In Pieces (a dance adaptation of illustrator Marion Fayolle’s work), The Pig, or Vaclav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig, Elephant Foot Umbrella Stand (for IPA’s Experiment #23b), Dead Cat Bounce/Money Lab, ELE↓↑TOR, Maggie Cino’s Decompression, and Bunny Lake is Missing.
As a performer, Patrice has appeared with Urban Bush Women in their Place Matters: A Look at Displacement, Martha Bower’s Dance Theatre Etcetera in Angels & Accordions, as well as in her own work throughout the past decade. She has appeared in a number of Gemini Collisionworks productions including the American/English premiere of Richard Foreman’s George Bataille’s Bathrobe.
Patrice is developing a process that uses theoretical intersections between performance and social science theories, in the hopes of creating work that has aesthetic and social impacts. Her interests include the representation of gender, class, race, religion, and other identity constructions in theater and dance, feminism in performance across cultures, and political performance. And humor. She’s very serious about humor.
NIKKI CASTLE (stage manager) holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently resides in Brooklyn. Previous New York credits include The Wedding Singer (New York Film Academy), Frankenstein Upstairs, Sovereign (Gideon Productions), Dear Albert Einstein, Ballerina Swan, Wanda’s Monster, and Louis Armstrong: Jazz Ambassador (Making Books Sing), Sleep No More (PunchdrunkNYC), Ghetto Babylon (Dramatic Question Theatre), The Blood Brothers Present… Raw Feed (Nosedive Productions), Decompression ( NY International Fringe Festival), Ha! Ha! (LabRats Theater), and Have Mercy (Manhattan Theatre Source).