Welcome to the super-secret page for
The Holy O
A New Play by Lauren Hance
The Holy O is a one-woman show centering around the theme of humans as embodied spirits and the connection between sexuality, the body, and the spirit. I will be writing and performing the show. This project is part of my thesis project for my MAT in Theology, Arts, and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, though this component is secondary to the creation of the play.
Vera, the main character, is contemplating becoming a Catholic nun but has never considered celibacy one of her virtues. Her situation is complicated by the onset of visions and rapturous like prayers, something like those of St. Teresa of Avila, who had physical reactions and trance-like episodes while in prayer. (Have I been known to describe Vera as an orgasming nun? Sure, but that's not really what's happening.... or is it?) As Vera's story and sordid past unfold, she shares stories of other women's experiences of the connection between the body and the spirit, particularly in the realm of sexuality. She also interacts with the audience, as they become characters from her past and saints in her preset.
The format will be a bit like a choose your own adventure, as I will have access to multiple stories and only a few will be shared during each performance, making each performance unique. The audience becomes involved in the play as they become characters in the stories Vera tells. The brave audience members who choose to become a larger part of the show will select a story. They then briefly "become" the character the story is about as they read from a "script" and interact with Vera. After a brief scripted dialogue, Vera will finish the story for the audience. The brave audience volunteers will be thanked and given a special blessing or encouraging word during the show to express Vera's thanks for their participation and vulnerability.
My hope is that this show creates space for people to think, experience, and feel. I hope space is created for people with differences to find common ground and engage in thoughtful dialogue. Above all, I hope the show opens space for the Spirit to move towards comfort and healing for those who have ever felt shame, guilt, or condemnation concerning their sexuality, bodies, or personhood.
The inspiration for this show comes from my own experiences and wrestling with my sexuality, what the church has to say about it, what culture has to say about it, and ultimately what God has to say about it (hint: it's way better than the 3 yahoos just referenced). Additionally, I have garnered creative inspiration from St. Teresa of Avila, Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, Siobhan O'Loughlin's Broken Bone Bathtub, and "Confessions" from Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz.
Need more juicy details on the show, watch this video:
How can you help?
Did you identify with any of the topics I shared?
Did it spark a memory in your mind?
Would you like to share your story with me, and become a part of The Holy O?
I am looking for women (and even a few men) who are willing to share their stories with me, and I'd LOVE to hear yours!
The stories that Vera shares in the show are inspired by true stories from people like you. If you are interested, fill out the form below and I will be in touch with more details.
You can be assured that I take your privacy VERY SERIOUSLY. I will NEVER share your identity, sensitive details, or names of others involved.
I will dramatize your story. This means I will give it shape to clearly communicate, do some tweaking and changing, or even merge it with other stories. The final product could simply be inspired by your story rather than an exact retelling.
I will never seek to devalue you, your story, or your experiences. I am honored by your interest and willingness to share and want to extend love, grace, and empathy to you. My hope is that you will feel loved, cared for, and maybe even transformed.