Rebecca Navid, Owner Built With Bec Fitness Coaching
“We laughed throughout the entire play"
THE HOLY O
As in the BIG O? Yes, and so much more.
The Holy O is a full-bodied theatrical experience that invites audiences to explore the connection between body, spirit, and sexuality.
Through immersive-like participation,
the telling of stories based on real women’s experiences,
and the humor and heartache of Vera’s journey,
audiences find themselves connecting with the The Holy O and to each other.
the O story
In 2018 three events converged that forced Lauren Hance (writer/performer) to process the connection between the body, spirit, and sexuality. The first event was Lauren starting a Master’s in Theology, Arts, and Culture. Lauren’s first paper was titled “How Trinitarian Unity Embraces the Female Orgasm as a Means to Marital Oneness.” This paper began Lauren's theological research into the connection between sexuality and spirituality. The master’s program allowed for a thesis project within Lauren’s creative field, and by the end of the program, The Holy O was born.
The second event was Lauren learning about St. Teresa of Ávilia while appearing as a guest on a podcast. St. Teresa was known for many great things, but what was of particular interest to Lauren were the rapturous-like prayers Teresa experienced. While some still negate the orgasmic-like nature of Teresa’s prayer experiences, the 16th-century Catholic Church affirmed that the raptures were from God. Learning about Teresa’s experiences made Lauren wonder how the body responds when a person is deeply loved, seen, and known.
The third, and most personal event, was when Lauren found herself in counseling and couples therapy with her husband because of dysfunction in their relationship and the bedroom. Purity culture had wreaked havoc on the two, and Lauren realized how she had separated her sexuality from her personhood and spirituality. The journey of discovery and path toward healing and hope allowed Lauren to create art from pain.
These three experiences set in motion the creation of The Holy O. As the ideas for the play were coming together, Lauren started sharing with friends what she was processing. Lauren was surprised to find so many women eager to hear more about the play and share their experiences. Lauren did not want The Holy O to be autobiographical, but she did want it based on real stories. Thus, Lauren began interviewing anyone willing to share their stories concerning body, spirit, and sexuality. In 2020 Amelia Peterson (director/developer) joined the team and Lauren had a first draft of The Holy O. In June of 2021 a staged reading of The Holy O was the culmination of Lauren's thesis project and master's degree.
In 2022 The Holy O debuted at Solofest at the Whitefire Theatre in Los Angeles and continues to secure performances worldwide.
the O experience
River & Rail Theater, Knoxville, TN
Studio A @ ComedySportz, Houston, TX
Solofest @ Whitefire Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Capital Fringe Festival, Washington D.C.
Omaha Fringe Festival, Omaha, NE
Vancouver Fringe Festival, Vancouver, BC
the O team
The Holy O strives to work with mothers and women, providing unique opportunities for individuals to excel amidst all aspects of life.
One of the biggest challenges for The Holy O was the demands of motherhood. Many women take a break or leave the theatre completely once becoming mothers. Rather than let motherhood stall The Holy O, Lauren and Amelia made a conscious decision to embrace motherhood as part of the process. This perspective gave the women a creative outlet and voice amidst the demands of family and motherhood. While supporting women is a focus, The Holy O will always accept the help of a gentleman. Lauren and Amelia would not be able to create The Holy O without the loving support of their husbands.