|Marc Miller takes a look at How to Defend Yourself at New York Theatre Workshop:
Whew, this one really needed an intimacy coordinator. Liliana Padilla's How to Defend Yourself, at New York Theatre Workshop, is mostly about its titular topic, as reflected through the uneasy #MeToo present. But it explores many cultural touchstones currently complicating gender identity and relations, and in doing so may make many in the audience uncomfortable at times (I know I was). The production, co-directed by Padilla, Rachel Chavkin, and Steph Paul, is exuberantly physical, with both intimate and violent moments that illustrate how the sexes coexist these days and how fraught those relations can be. How to Defend Yourself is messy and sometimes feels less like a drama than a polemic, but people are going to be talking about it, and maybe that talk will wise some of them up.