'Live Bodies for Sale’ tells true story of 5 Cleveland-area women trapped and trafficked for sex

“They’ve suffered tremendously, had every thing taken from them.”

'Live Bodies for Sale' A play by Christopher Johnston

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “Live Bodies for Sale” is the very real and local story of sex trafficking.

The play is the culmination of in depth interviews with women forced into prostitution, exploited and rescued.

Northeast Ohio playwright Christopher Johnston spent eight years learning about the lives of these Cleveland-area women.

The docudrama is pulled from the chapters of Johnson’s book Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice.

'Live Bodies for Sale' A play by Christopher Johnston

The powerful docudrama runs from Nov. 22 until Dec. 15.

“It’s primarily the story of five survivors,” Johnston said.

The women are from Cleveland, Barberton, Columbus and other Northeast Ohio cities.

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Ohio, Ohio ranked fourth in volume of trafficking calls to its hotlines, after Florida, California and Texas in 2016.

The play is directed by former artistic director of Karamu House, Terrence Spivey.

“I knew Terrence so well, I trust his direction implicitly. It was easy to turn it over and say run with it, he’s just a wonderful director," Johnston said. “They’ve suffered tremendously, had every thing taken from them. I just wanted to raise awareness because so many people don’t understand what trafficking is, a lot of it is a myth.”

The two hour performance explores the real stories of woman who were targeted by pimps and who were deceived and forced into a life they could not have imagined.

At the end of each performance speakers will be on hand to help deepen an understanding of how to spot sex trafficking and what needs to happen to stop the epidemic of bodies for sale.

“Live Bodies for Sale” runs Nov. 22 through Dec. 15, 2019, with performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

All shows will be at the Creative Space at Waterloo Arts, 397 East 156th Street, Cleveland, Ohio.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and groups and $12 for students.

Group packages may be arranged by contacting Playwrights Local at info@playwrightslocal.org or 216-302-8856.

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