Rogue Performer Preview: How to Really, Really? Really! Love a Woman

Feb 26, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Rogue Festival

by Eleanor O’Brien

It is almost time for Rogue Festival again–it will be taking place March 6-14 in the Tower District of Fresno. Throughout the month of February we will be publishing many Rogue Festival performer preview articles. This year we have added a special category where you will be able to find all of our Rogue Festival articles. During Rogue we will be reviewing shows as usual, and we also have a Rogue Festival event page with more information!

Eleanor O’Brien is bringing her risqué and provocative solo show How to Really, Really? Really! Love a Woman to the Rogue Festival. O’Brien is new to the Rogue, but not new to touring fringe festivals. She is the artistic director of Portland-based sex-positive theater company Dance Naked Productions, and has been making shows about sexuality since 2005. rogue

“This show grew out of a piece I did in a show called Sex We Can!” O’Brien reveals. “The invitation was to write a vision of the sexual future you want to live into, and I wrote a monologue about a woman who finds a portal to the Divine Femine through cunnilingus. The piece proved very popular, and I loved performing it, so I wrote a whole show on the topic.

I think a lot of women struggle with feeling comfortable and safe receiving pleasure. There’s so much shame around our genitals. I wanted to write a narrative that counters that belief – I imagine a future where the pussy is revered and venerated (as our ancestors once did, before the rise of patriarchy) but make it as funny and inclusive as possible. I call it a Head Talk because there’s a lot of information embedded in the play, but it’s also a very personal, intimate story. I’m inventing a new genre – erotic comedy!”

O’Brien premiered HTRRRLAW in her hometown to sold out audiences, and has toured to several cities on the west coast (Broadway World said of the show “It’s funny, empowering, and just slightly terrifying all at once…I highly recommend HTRRRLAW”). She’s excited for the show to go global; this summer, she’ll premier it at the Vagina Museum in London, and then she’ll take it to the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest theater festival in the world.

“It’s enormously scary,” says O’Brien. “There are literally over 3000 shows. You really have to hustle. I’m polishing this show by taking it to as many festivals as I can and really practicing what it’s like to do it in front of all kinds of audiences. Rumor has it, in Edinburgh people have often been drinking. You have to be on your toes. I’m looking forward to seeing how Fresno reacts to somewhat edgy material.”

O’Brien is known for intimate, vulnerable storytelling. Her first solo show GGG: Dominatrix for Dummies recounts her efforts to become a professional dominatrix in NYC (and failing miserably). Her second Lust & Marriage explores the joys and terrors of polyamory. She teaches classes on the intersection of sexuality and creativity, and how to use lust to fuel art. Her mission is to illuminate sexuality of all kinds, and offer new narratives around topics many consider private.

WHERE: Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore 9950 N Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA, 93728

WHEN : Fri. 3/6 @10 p.m.; Sat. 3/7 @ 8 p.m.; Sun. 3/8 @ 6:30 p.m.; Thurs. 3/12 @ 9 p.m.; Sat. 3/14 @ 6:30 p.m.


If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can find the podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play, and also on Podbean.

Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.


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