Cantor is the co-artistic director of Off-Broadway's Edge Theater, which will co-produce the world premiere. The play will have a staged reading at the Cape Cod Theatre Project in Falmouth, Massachusetts, in July. The CCTP has become a popular incubator for Off-Broadway-bound plays such as Manuscript and Almost, Maine. Rapp is currently experiencing the biggest success of his career with Red Light Winter, which is currently running at the Barrow Street Theatre. The play was a Pulitzer finalist in 2006. He is the resident playwright of Edge Theater.
The plot of Essential Self-Defense runs as follows: "A disgruntled misfit takes a job as an attack dummy in a women’s self-defense class and finds himself mysteriously drawn to the repressed bookworm who’s beating on him. But all’s not well on the mean Midwestern streets of Bloggs: with local children vanishing at an alarming rate, our hero, his lady friend and a motley assortment of poets, butchers and punk librarians prepare to battle the darkness on the edge of town."
Casting and designers will be announced in the coming months.