Violence Against Women with the Living Lotus Project

July 11th

Towards the end of our 15th episode, Jacqueline shared how a man who had been messaging her online responded to her polite refusal of a date with, “When you give head, do you spit or swallow?” And then, “Please god, hear my pray, I hope this woman gets brutally raped and treated like the bitch that she is.”

Ben’s reaction: “That is the most disgusting, vile, most reprehensible… I’m shaking my clenched fists right now.”

We went on to have a discussion about how, sadly, these interchanges are not uncommon for women online. Nor are they uncommon for women on the street, when a polite refusal of a date or a beckon from a stranger to “smile baby” quickly escalates to that same woman being called a bitch, cunt, or whore, or rape is wished upon her. And then there are the sobering statistics: one in five women will be raped in their lifetime, and eighty percent of those women will know the man who raped them.

On today’s show, we’re joined by Laura Gosheff and Julia Peterson of the Living Lotus Project. Their show, Phoenix Rising (playing off-Broadway at the Lion Theatre through July 16th), tracks the stories of five young girls working through violence done upon them by the family and friends in their lives, and the counselor helping them “find their fire.” Gosheff is the writer and director of the piece; Peterson one of the six actors, and a core member of Living Lotus. We discuss the origin stories presented in their piece, the personal histories of the team involved, how they include or separate those stories from their work, and in what ways they most believe we can move forward in ending violence against girls and women.

Listen Monday 7/11 at 4pmEST

About Living Lotus Project

Living Lotus Project is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization acting to prevent violence against girls and women by developing and producing comprehensive educational theater for high schools, colleges, and diverse New York area audiences.  Living Lotus Project seeks to leverage performing arts education as a change agent to inspire awareness, empathy, and advocacy for girls and women suffering from every kind of violence. PHOENIX RISING is the centerpiece of Living Lotus Project’s new sexual violence prevention initiative, which includes an innovative playgoer’s guide designed raise awareness.

About Laura Gosheff

d8a6db225b58916ab518e6161b58ee82Ms. Gosheff brings over 30 years of organizational and managerial expertise to Living Lotus Project.  While continuing her career as a Practice Coordinator and Litigation Specialist in a New York City law firm, she embarked on a career in the arts.  Although Ms. Gosheff came to acting somewhat late in life, she credits her many and varied life experiences for her ability to bring an informed and genuine depth to the characters she has created for the stage.  Over the last fourteen years, she has gained experience in almost every aspect of theater production.  She’s been an Authorized Company Rep in the New York Fringe Festival, General Manager and co-producer for a number of NYC plays over the last eight years; and was Managing Director of Republic Theatre Company in 2006, and General Manager (2010-2015) for Elsinore County, a theater collective in New York City.

Ms. Gosheff founded Living Lotus Project to raise awareness and empathy for girls and women suffering the effects of sexual assault and domestic violence; to end victim-blaming and shaming by putting the responsibility for the crime where it belongs — on the perpetrator; and to engage individuals and communities at large to help end this worldwide epidemic.

About Julia Marie Peterson

Julia’s recent theater credits include: LA BESTIA: SWEET MOTHER,Suzette (HERE Arts Center); LAUNDRY & BOURBON, Hattie (On The Road Rep); ELECTRA,Electra (Theatre Row); TEARS OF ANATOLIA, Daye (Columbia University, Awoye Timpo); ENTWINE, Annie  (Hudson Guild, A.M. Raychel);  MEASURE FOR MEASURE, Mistress Overdone (Lee Strasberg Theatre); IPHIGENIA IN TAURIS, Iphigenia/Chorus (Theatre Row, North American Tour); BUG, Agnes (Regional, VA); AN ANALYSIS OF SUSPENSE & DRAMATIC TENSION, Alexandreyevitch (Strawberry One Act Festival, Nominee Best Actress); THE SEAGULL, Masha (Lee Strasberg Theatre); THE OPHELIA LANDSCAPE, Ophelia (Mark Morris Performance Space).  She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Drama Department, LSTFI and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

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