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#HealMeToo Festival & Podcast Present: Devil in a Box 

Created and performed by Sarah Jane Johnson. Directed by Patrice Miller.

Equal parts poetic theater and feminist stand-up, Devil in a Box follows the journey of a young American woman from sexual assault, through the French justice system and into life after trauma. A frightening yet joyous tale, Sarah Jane chronicles the complexities of it all with disarming honesty, beaucoup d’humour, and a 24 oz. can of Miller Lite.

“breaks the fourth wall [...] in a way that makes it feel like there was never really a wall at all.” “refreshingly self-aware”—Esti Bernstein, Center On The Aisle

“defies the odds, builds community and mends broken hearts” —Asia Freeman, Artistic Director, Bunnell Street Arts Center

Content warning: Frank descriptions of sexual violence, criminal justice system.


#hEALMETOO podcast Episode 8:

In #HealMeToo Podcast Episode 8, Sarah Jane and Patrice join #HealMeToo Festival founder Hope Singsen to discuss Devil In a Box, which was presented to sold out houses at The #HealMeToo Festival. By turns frank, hilarious, and inspiring, Sarah Jane and Patrice share with listeners about:

  • The story of how Devil in a Box started as a performance art piece and evolved over years in tandem with Sarah Jane's court case and recovery process

  • Ways that working on the piece both were and weren't always healing for Sarah Jane

  • How the Devil in a Box team has developed a method of collaboration that engages them all in a healing process

  • Patrice's insights as a self-declared “lazy witch” on the magic of imagination and the healing similarities between making magic and making art

  • The “go to” skills that help Sarah Jane, Patrice & Hope in moments of challenge, like:

    • Finding friends you can really talk to,

    • “Trying on” ideas for yourself to act “as if” you were already “healed”,

    • Stretching yourself by taking a “contrary action,”

    • Learning ways to step back from dark thoughts that might otherwise spiral and seem larger than they are

    • How to honor your own ways of surviving and start seeing the next things you could do to have a fuller life, even while healing

    • Coming to accept that being a survivor will always be in one’s life, but it doesn’t have to control things, as you figure out how you want to dialogue with it

    • Observing tricky moments “in neutral” in order to avoid making things worse, and come back to it later