Cast of Tasha Biltmore's stage play, "The Betrayal."
Photo by Troy Tieuel
Biltmore, a victim of abuse herself, has dedicated her life to producing plays that touch on such taboo topics such as domestic violence, rape, and molestation.
Rarely do plays cover controversial topics. Easygoing topics such as love, relationships, wars, adventure, even superheroes have all been touched on. Occasionally, script writers find the gumption and the bravery to pin together scenes that breach the taboo realms such as rape, incest or prostitution in a realistic, non-cliché manner.
Like a lone warrior carrying a torch of truth through a field of enemies, these writers brave the masses scrutiny to deliver a message that heals. They are akin to doctors that have medicine for those who, sometimes don’t even know that they are sick.
“So many people came up to me after the show saying, ‘That is my story,’” said Tasha Biltmore, the author of ‘The Betrayal,’ a stage play about the statutory rape of a minor and its effect on his life and the life of those around him.
The facts of the matter are that many men don’t report abuse or rape by women because they are taught that they should want it or they are convinced that they liked it because of a natural physical response. This stigma is one of the main reasons acts of molestation and rape like the ones depicted in ‘The Betrayal’ stage play go unreported.
More than one-in-five men report "becoming so sexually aroused that they could not stop themselves from having sex, even though the woman did not consent," according to a study published by the website oneinfourusa.org.
1in6.org, reports, “Many boys and men feel lots of guilt and shame because they got physically aroused during the abuse. The abusers often attempt to maintain secrecy, and to keep the abuse going, by telling the child that his sexual response shows he was a willing participant and complicit in the abuse. ‘You wanted it. You liked it,’ they say.”
Biltmore, a victim of abuse herself, has dedicated her life to producing plays that touch on such taboo topics such as domestic violence, rape, and molestation. Her last plays, “Maddy,” and “The Conversation,” produced in 2014 and 2012 respectively, were about Biltmore’s personal struggle with domestic violence. “All of my work is bringing awareness about domestic violence and child abuse,” added Biltmore, “’The Conversation’ was my own personal story. Maddy deals with child abuse.”
“Maddy,” set to premier in August 19, at the Play House, is the third in a series of hard hitting, personal tales that delve into the mentalities of both assailant and victims of the type of violence that oftentimes goes unreported. The Playhouse is located on the second level of Maverick’s Flat in the Crenshaw District.
Biltmore also runs a non-profit called Sparkle House. “Changing the look of domestic violence” one play at a time, Sparkle House hosts the ‘Actor’s Play House Boot Camp,’ an actor’s workshop that happens every Tuesday inside of Maverick’s Flat. The Play House Boot Camp is a free venue for actors of all skill levels to learn and perform in front of industry executives.
For more information about the plays “The Betrayal”, “The Conversation” or “Maddy”, go to http://www.sparkelhouseinc.com. For more information about The Actor’s Play House Boot Camp, go to https://www.facebook.com/tasha.biltmore.