#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