The Road To Shameless

Maggie’s Note: I’m reposting this amazing event at the Center For Sex and Culture TOMORROW NIGHT, 11-15-11 in San Francisco. If you’re in the area, go check it out and support sexual assault survival storytelling.
(This announcement contains references to sexual assault and recovery.)
Dixie De La Tour, Bawdy Storytelling and Stories 2 Stop Rape
present a one-night only performance by National Story Slam Champion Nancy Donoval:
A Survivor’s Tale of Sexual Assault and Healing

 Written and performed by Nancy Donoval
“[Nancy Donoval] has mastered the art of telling stories that are
funny and heart-wrenching at the same time.”
- Chicago Reader, Critic’s Choice
Advance tickets at:
7:00 – Doors Open
7:30 – Show Starts
Q&A follows the performance.
The Center for Sex and Culture
1349 Mission Street, San Francisco
“Nancy’s story is as much for men as women.
Beautiful, difficult, heartfelt stories — this show is a gift.”
- Kevin Kling – Playwright, NPR Commentator, Author of The Dog Says How
Flat Rate Tickets:
$12 advance / $15 at the door

Sliding Scale Tickets
Pay What You Can Afford $5 – $25 (advance and at the door)
No one turned away for lack of funds.

Listen to Nancy’s story slam-winning excerpt of
The Road to Shameless on Chicago Public Radio at:

“An experience of exhilarating liberation! There are so many
people in my life that I want to hear this story.”
- Elizabeth O’Sullivan, audience member
Tickets at:
Whether survivor, friend or family many of us struggle with how to talk openly about sexual violence. The issue can become even thornier when survivor and assailant know each other. Nancy Donoval was a 19-year-old freshmen theater major when she went out for a night of fun and drinking and was sexually assaulted by a friend.  She knew what had been done to her was awful, but she didn’t know to call it rape. Like a lot of people, she thought sexual assault meant a stranger in a dark alley, not someone you trust in a place you thought was safe.
Today, Nancy is a critically acclaimed performing artist specializing in performance memoir that finds humor in the hard stuff of life such as grief and loss, body image, disability and sexual violence.  Nancy won the 2010 National Story Slam Championship with an excerpt from The Road to Shameless, her one-woman show that turns the experience of being a sexual assault survivor into powerful, transformative public art.  This witty, compassionate tale speaks the unspeakable with humor and grace making what might seem too difficult not only bearable but, in the words of one audience member, “an experience of exhilarating liberation.”
“Like the best storytellers, [Nancy Donoval] transforms the events in the telling and
ultimately arrives at a deeply meaningful hope.  [Told] with self-deprecating
wit and quirky insight…profoundly moving.”
- William Randall Beard
Minneapolis Star Tribune
More than an account of a sexual assault, The Road to Shameless puts rape in the context of Nancy’s life as a daughter, sister, girlfriend, theater artist, and budding activist. Using her skills as a storyteller, she gently invites us into key moments in her journey of survival: wearing overalls to erase any sign of being a girl; acting in plays with her assailant after the assault; finally being given the word ‘rape’ for what was done to her by someone she was dating–while they were sitting on his bed and he was lobbying for sex; how friends and family reacted when she told them; and the long twisting path from denial and silence to recovery and healing and eventually to becoming an outspoken voice for change.
Artful and wise. This is pitch-perfect storytelling, witty as the
best stand-up comedy but with a brilliant structure that
delivers the audience to its dead-serious heart.
- Patricia Weaver Francisco
Author, Telling: A Memoir of Rape and Recovery
Last month, as part of her work as a sexual violence educator for college campuses (, Nancy took this show back to where it happened, meeting with and telling her story to current members at the fraternity house where her attacker had lived and the assault took place. It was a powerful experience for all involved and highlighted the need to tell and listen to difficult stories such as these if we are to change our culture to embrace both “Yes” and “No” without shame.

“I learned there was hope and humor and healing somewhere in the hell.”
- Kenzie K., Augsburg College
“Nancy tells a story filled with meaning and has somehow found
a way to use humor in a discussion about recovery from violence.
Her words are powerful, revealing and ultimately healing.”
- Roberta Gibbons, Asst. Professor
Violence Prevention and Intervention, Metropolitan State University
For more info on Nancy and her programs:

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Filed under activism, community, events, feminisms

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