The PlayFinder™

Type of Play

MenWomenTotal Cast

Dark Comedy Farce Historical Melodrama Mystery Romantic Satire Tragedy Thriller

The Art of Self-Defense

ISBN: 978-0-8222-0069-7
One Act, Comedy
5 women
Total Cast: 5, Flexible Set
FEE: $35 per performance. MS.
THE STORY: The play unfolds in a series of scenes in and around a health club. Five women, from a variety of widely differing backgrounds, meet in a T'ai Chi class. The male instructor is unseen, a voice from the wings. He introduces them to T'ai Chi, which is a mixture of meditation and self-defense. Over a period of time the women, among them a young mother, a personnel director and a corporate lawyer, discover the strength that friendship among women can provide. But even this knowledge can prevent one of them, a meek but modestly ambitious office worker who is encouraged and supported by her fellows, from a failure of courage at the crucial moment. The play ends dramatically, with a recognition that each woman is responsible for the quality of her own life.
First presented by the renowned Actors Theatre of Louisville. A funny, wise, and ultimately powerful depiction of five modern women who casually meet at a health club, and who eventually, through growth, discovery and mutual support, change the quality of their lives. "A gentle, insightful comedy, the play is an extended metaphor about five women in an Oriental self-defense class. It works marvelously. She accomplishes in 30 minutes what some playwrights can't seem to do in two hours." —Louisville Courier-Journal.