How to Want

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Preview by Joshua James Collis – Editor

November 6, 2016


Human beings are often defined by our sexuality, so how does one carve a self within the absence of sexuality?

How to Want is a new work written and performed by emerging UVic artist Emma Leck on November 6, 2016 sponsored by Vino Buono Productions. This Intrepid Theatre YOU Show seeks to open up the conversation about sexuality, specifically the people that do not indulge in any form of romantic endeavors.

“It’s less about sexuality and more about how we form relationships,” says Leck, a fourth year student at UVic.

How to Want is a conversation through the lens of main character Sarah as she attempts to navigate the world of feelings. How do you understand romantic feelings if you feel none yourself?

“We’re defined by who we want sexually. I was working on this in Toronto and reading it with some people. I was asking their opinions of the script, and they thought the only happy ending would be if she discovered herself sexually, or that she was sexual at the end,” says Leck.

The show seeks to use the much dreaded audience participation in order to open up the conversation about asexuality. But fear not, this isn’t the type where you have to stand up and be embarrassed. How to Want is looking for the audience to engage in a conversation.

“The … thing that really excites me is the aspect of audience participation. I’m really interested in taking a script and seeing where it goes and exploring it. I really like the idea of bringing audience into rehearsal and seeing how they react so we can see that audience participation, just also really explore what is in the script and what the audience will find in the script,” says How to Want Director Victoria Simpson.

Simpson, also a fourth year student at UVic, met Leck through the university’s theatre program. The pair, along with Vino Buono Artistic Director Kat Taddei acting as dramaturge, put together this one night only exploration of this lesser known sexual identity.

“I had a friend who is asexual and I just noticed certain self-esteem issues that were being tied to it. I realized that I didn’t know much about it and even in this progressive environment that we’re in, asexuality is one of those topics that’s kind of unknown and perhaps looked upon as you’re being repressed in a way,” says Leck.

Often asexual identifying people are written off by the peers as just going through a phase or haven’t met the right person yet.

“So it’s one of those things where you say, ‘oh, I’m asexual,’ and people respond with a bit of doubt to it. I thought it would be an interesting topic to address in a play,” says Leck.

“Asexuality is one of those topics that no one talks about, and even though not everyone is sexal, it is a topic we can benefit from having more conversation from, just in how we define romantic and sexual relationships for ourselves,” says Simpson.

How to Want is part of Intrepid Theatre’s YOU Show platform which has been providing their space as a vehicle for emerging artists since 2010. Vino Buono has been behind many of 2016’s YOU Show as well as the award winning Victoria Fringe 2016 show Art of the Eight Limbs.

 Don’t let the asexual subject matter make you believe that this performance is all work and no play.

“It’s a fun show, it’s not a problem show, we’re not telling you what to think. It’s more just come and experience it, engage in the conversation,” says Simpson.

“It’s less about sexuality and more about how we form relationships. Come to the show and don’t be afraid to talk, just have fun with it,” says Leck.

(Full disclouse, Vino Buono Artistic Director Kat Taddei is a former writer for’s precusor publication, The Marble Theatre Review)

How to Want

Vino Buono Productions

Intrepid Theatre

November 6, 2016 performances at 7pm and 9pm $10 at the door

Event information

Explaining sexual desire to someone who can’t feel it
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