Ep. 11: The Importance of Intimacy Directing with Cara Rawlings

Ep. 11: The Importance of Intimacy Directing with Cara Rawlings

00:00 / 00:27:41

Note: This episode contains content that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

About 20 years ago, I worked as a production intern on the soap opera ‘As The World Turns.’ I remember one particular day in which two of my favorite characters were scheduled to do a steamy sex scene. Strangely, what I remember about it the most was watching the actress lay on the couch covered in a sheet while the director tightly blocked the scene and the tech people adjusted the lights and such. I also remember that day because it was the only time while I was working at the show that the executive in charge of production for Proctor and Gamble came to the studio and rumor had it he was there to make sure the scene didn’t go too far for daytime TV. Seems kind of funny now, but back then, things were different. Nowadays, in lieu of a sensor, shows like HBO’s ‘The Deuce’ are bringing in Intimacy Directors to coordinate these types of scenes and create a culture of consent. So today I’m speaking with Cara Rawlings, who is not only a  Certified Stage Combat Instructor with The Society of American Fight Directors but also a certified Intimacy Director with Intimacy Directors International. Raleigh audiences may be familiar with her work on the Raleigh Little Theatre production of ‘Measure for Measure.’ Before we begin, I want to preface this episode with a disclaimer that Cara and I talked candidly about this subject, so this might not be an episode you want to stream while the kids around. Nevertheless, this is an important conversation to have and I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts on this topic, whether you are a producer, director or performer. Shoot me an email or share your thoughts with me on the RDU on Stage Facebook page @rduonstage so we can keep the conversation going.

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About the Guest

Cara Rawlings is Associate Professor of Movement and Acting in The Department of Theatre and Cinema at Virginia Tech. Rawlings has worked professionally as a teacher, fight director and dance choreographer in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and abroad in Greece and Austria.  Rawlings is a Certified Stage Combat Instructor with The Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD). As Intimacy Choreographer with Intimacy Directors International (IDI), she is focused on creating safer spaces for performers by acting as their advocate and responsibly guiding them through the process of staging choreographed moments of Intimacy in performance. She is a member of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators (ATME) and has served on the board of Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC).  Ms. Rawlings holds a Master of Fine Arts in Movement Pedagogy and Fight Direction from Virginia Commonwealth University.


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