WHAT IS EROTIC?
Original Theatre & Dance Asking One Provocative Question...
In answer to a culture of objectification, What is Erotic? leads from the heart, breaking through stereotypes to spark a safer and more vibrant conversation around sexuality, sensuality, and empowerment.
What does it mean to be in What is Erotic? It is more than a theatre show. It is a unique opportunity to step into places where you’ll feel sometimes vulnerable and most definitely vividly alive. WIE presents the chance for even those experienced on stage and many with little to no prior experience to take part in a respectful, safe environment that becomes a highly professional theater production.
Artistic Opportunities. What is Erotic? provides artistic growth opportunities, whether a participant is involved once or over a span of years. An audience member can become a performer, a stagehand, a writer, a dancer a costumer, a production assistant or a choreographer, as individual artistic strengths are fostered.
Every fall The 418 Project invites people of all experience levels, from professional performance artists to those with no stage experience, to apply. What Is Erotic? and has mentored hundreds, and has been seen by thousands. WIE participants experience a safe space to reach deep, sometimes into edgy or personal material and be seen in a professional and supportive environment that fosters artistic and personal growth and expression.
Coming up soon...
March 17, 18, 19
At The 418 Project
Through the mediums of hip hop, burlesque, spoken word, pole dance, comedy and theatre, artists explore their personal journey of the erotic. Uncovering hidden dynamics of identity, power, liberation, and desire through original art, this artist-led production, now in its 17th season, reveals new work from experienced and emerging performers that will inspire to you ask: What Is Erotic? to you.
This year’s line-up includes:
Physical Theatre with Bella Melo
Pole Dance by Dizzy Star, and emerging artist Megdalen
Comedy and Song by Nicole Watson
Hip Hop by Persian Butter
Spoken Word by Lex
We are proud to launch a multitude of events per year. Learn more about what's coming up in our performance itinerary!
We love to flaunt our stuff! Be part of our theatrical experience, whether as a performer, audience participant, or behind-the-scenes technician.
Are you a newcomer to the world of eroticism? We are here to guide you!
The story of What is Erotic?
Once upon a time, long, long ago, back in 2005, there was a volunteer who had an idea. The volunteer wanted to create a fundraiser for The 418 Project. So he suggested a show sourced from community, that donated all proceeds to the beloved community center—thus What Is Erotic? was born.
At first, the show was, well, a little uneven—but very magic. It was not clear at first that the directors and the actors were playing with Fire, otherwise known as Sex. Every year, folks appeared, not only to perform, but to volunteer and work as technicians, because they wanted to be involved in the project. And each year, the show grew and changed, until people came from all over the Bay Area to see it and it became the biggest fundraiser for the non-profit.
Story Tellers, Burlesque Dancers, Playwrights and Comedians, Aerialists, Fire Dancers and Circus Artists, Ukulele players and Gamelan musicians, Opera singers and Magical Creatures of all kinds, some who had never before been seen on stage—they came forth to create the Magic that is WIE! We began to discover hidden themes inside each season. We began to learn how to create safety by understanding boundaries, a secret part of mastering our own Erotic.
We began to learn that the One Provocative Question—what is erotic?—can never really be answered once and for all. But the question returns, renews, and reveals itself endlessly and uniquely to each of us.
People, performers, and audience members alike told us, “This show changed my life.” And we began to realize that, while it takes guts and vulnerability to let ourselves be really seen. In this way, our commitment to creating a show that is so much more rings bells down to the bone, through the spirit and out of the, well, you know, the deepest parts of ourselves! It is an Honor, a Privilege, and even more, a Pleasure! to create this living artwork together. We invite you to ask, and discover for yourself—what is erotic?
Team Erotic, WIE Directors, and Producers