Most of us have experienced the visceral release of breaking stuff to release frustration, although for the most part it's not done with planning or intention but rather in the heat of the moment, without much thought or control. Those who do it don't really enjoy it; most of the time they regret it. They feel like they “lost it,” and sometimes they destroy dinnerware, glasses or knick-knacks they actually like. Not a good feeling. But throwing something glass or ceramic against a wall or onto the floor, watching it shatter to bits while absorbing the piercing, cracking, splitting sounds can be not only cathartic in the moment but a focused exercise of expression.

This is the idea behind Women Breaking Plates, a one-night event that invites women to “break free,” figuratively and literally. At the last such event, 400 plates were broken by a reported 66 women looking to find release from stress, depression, anger, PTSD due to sexual abuse, harassment, work problems, kids, relationship challenges and simply, life.

Credit: Women Breaking Plates

Credit: Women Breaking Plates

The setup consists of 12 interactive stations for “cathartic healing and support.” Women write what they want to release onto the plate and then throw it and watch it shatter. The event also offers other unique ways to let go: lighting their limitations on fire and punching out their negative inner self-talk on punching bags, for example. Intuitive readers and healers, plus a DJ and and herbal elixirs and drinks, round out the empowering evening.

The organizers say they decided to bring Women Breaking Plates to L.A. particularly because women here really need it, living in a high-pressure and chaotic environment, with pressures to be pretty and perfect. They're right. But the gatherings should resonate everywhere, especially right now, what with conversations about abuse and trauma being more publicly and shamelessly expressed in the wake of the #MeToo Movement. Through sharing with others and revealing emotions like sadness and anger, many are finding they can finally move on from trauma and pain for good. And doing so with others at an organized event sure beats breaking your favorite coffee cup at home alone.

Women Breaking Plates, 1114 S. Los Angeles St., downtown; Sat., Jan. 12, 5-9:30 p.m.; $30. 

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