All performances of Edith Podesta's new play are interpreted in sign language.
This comes from a desire to include different audiences, but also stems from the trauma experienced by the lead character in Leda And The Rage.
The play is about a survivor of rape dealing with post-traumatic stress. Writer-director-lead actress Podesta, 38, says: "Hands speak faster than the brain. They speak a truth (the character) can't articulate because she is divorced from the body."
Leda And The Rage ends the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay's The Studios season. The play runs from April 26 to 29. Commissioned and produced by The Esplanade, it is a work which required challenging and often nauseating research on the part of Podesta.
It involved looking at Greek mythology - the play takes its title from the story of Leda, who was coerced into a sexual encounter by the god Zeus in the form of a swan - as well as contemporary studies on sexual aggression and the use of rape in war.
She notes that myths involving Zeus are portrayed as seduction even when the story makes it clear that the female resisted the male aggressor.
Veteran theatre-maker Jeremiah Choy joins her on stage, playing a therapist. "He's intelligent, older, can be seen to be understanding about the underbelly of life and not be about sex," says Podesta, linking actor and character.
BOOK IT /LEDA AND THE RAGE
WHERE: Esplanade Theatre Studio, 1 Esplanade Drive
WHEN: April 26 and 27, 8pm; April 28, 3 and 8pm; April 29, 3pm
ADMISSION: $35 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)
INFO: Some mature themes. Patrons must be 16 years or older. Go to www.esplanade.com/festivals-and-series/the-studios/2018
It was important to have a male voice in the work, she adds. "The work is questioning the myths we have about rape and the questions have to come from both sides."