What Is Erotic?

Original Theatre & Dance Asking One Provocative Question...

Our Mission
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 IT MEANS 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 in stage and many with little to no prior experience to take part in a respectful, safe environment that becomes a highly professional theater production.

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, production assistant or 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.

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The story of

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 yourselfwhat is erotic?


Team Erotic, WIE Directors, and Producers

Upcoming Event: Foreplay Soirée™

July 29th 7:30-10:30 PM. Tickets: $25 - $125

Buy tickets here

"Come to Your Senses" at Foreplay Soirée™. Friday, July 29 is your chance to experience What Is Erotic?® to you. Join us for an evening of interactive opportunities designed to awaken you from head to toe.

From poetry to chocolate, from fragrance to photos in our Victorian Photo Booth, and whether you're bold, shy or somewhere in between, you'll have the chance to jump in or be a wallflower.

Sip Champagne, enjoy performances, drop into your body and breathe with Roberta Dayal, meet the 2023 What Is Erotic?® Creative Team and top it all off with a dance party.

Your tickets support our sex-positive, body-positive programming, so get your tickets at the highest price you can afford!

Past Shows & Fundraisers

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