Auditions are Sunday for play based on Waking Life scandal in Asheville

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Auditions are set to begin Sunday for a “comedic take” on the Waking Life coffee shop scandal that led to shop protests, the closure of the shop and community meetings in Asheville to talk about issues such as misogyny.

The auditions are listed at, the website of Asheville comedy writer, filmmaker and freelance writer Toni Sherwood. The audition listing says the play is scheduled to be staged at NC Stage, and Asheville theater company, beginning in mid-August.red_pill_diaries_1_asheville_2016

More from the listing:

The Red Pill Diaries is a comedic and satirical take on the Waking Life debacle – a local story that made national headlines. With witty song parodies, awkwardly intimate moments, and tons of miscommunication, this high-energy comedy makes misogyny fun!

The play will run August 17- Sept 4 at NC Stage.

Last September, an anonymous person created a website that revealed that Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens, the owners of the then-popular Waking Life coffee shop on Haywood Road in West Asheville, had created their own blog, podcast and Twitter account details their relationships with women, often in misogynistic terms.

The content fit followers of what’s known as the Red Pill culture, where men talk openly about their ideas of masculinity, about manipulating women and about their sexual conquests. In their tweets, posts and in audio commentary, Rutledge and Owen talked about meeting women at the coffee shop and, in at least one case, having sexual intercourse with a women in the ground floor garage of the shop. One blog post was a list of sexual encounters with women, which included explicit descriptions and ratings of the women.

Rutledge and Owen both apologized for their actions, but protests erupted outside the coffee shop, and within a week, the shop closed. The owners eventually sold the shop. The scandal sparked online discussion groups and community meetings to talk about issues surrounding the Red Pill culture.

Here’s the Facebook event page for the Red Pill Diaries auditions.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Harriet Mann September 24, 2016

    Tom Gallo, the “manosphere” should by all means be satirized! The waking life incident brought misognynistic behaviour out of the cavern in which it was hiding and festering, and popped like a pimple in the light of day. Of course it is hilarious that these blokes took themselves so seriously.

  2. Tom Gallo, Asheville July 11, 2016

    It is beyond comprehension that someone would do a comedy on this topic. I did see some of what these two men wrote and remember one story of going as far as he could to have sex with a women. To him, he went to the line. To the woman, he probably crossed the line and took it as sexual assault.
    Let’s have a comedy on the shooting of JFK, it would be slightly less offensive.


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