2013 marks the 10th anniversary of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” performances at Fairmont State University. Sponsored by the new student organization V-Day Warriors, this year’s show will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 14, 15 and 16 in Colebank Gym. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. All proceeds will go to benefit HOPE, Inc. and the Marion County YWCA.
Pooling from the university and the community, the cast includes Katherine Welch, Phyl Charnes, Richael Saxon, Laura Hooper, Teresa Hall, Pamela Chatman, Jo Danna Simpson, Suzie Hall, Rebecca DeWitt, Kristin Jones and M. Lanette Six. Under direction of junior Theatre major, KC Lore, these women will take the audience on an emotional roller coaster. “The Vagina Monologues” has been around since the mid-1990s and has been a driving force in activism and awareness. It speaks to both men and women about the importance of talking about topics that society has conventionally seen as inappropriate.
In 1998, Ensler and several friends started V-Day International. V-Day is a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sex slavery.
Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual benefit performances of “The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer” or “Any One Of Us: Words From Prison.” They also present screenings of V-Day’s documentary “Until The Violence Stops” and the PBS documentary “What I Want My Words To Do To You,” and they host Spotlight Teach-Ins and V-Men workshops to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities.
“The greater feat of the monologues is the preservation of women’s voices—their lives are communicated in their own words: the monologues have no literary pretenses but are shaped by the experiences they communicate. They are rich with humor and forgiveness and courage and hope, even when they relate unimaginable brutality. ‘The Vagina Monologues’ helps us all to talk to one another about difficult, important matters—and they help us to see that we don’t have to cooperate with the misogynist imperatives of our time. We—all of us, whatever our sex and sexual identity—can find ways to speak and listen to one another and among ourselves create different visions of the world that lead to transformative action. In ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ we watch women cooperating and enjoying one another with the shared purpose of enriching, empowering, and ennobling the lives of women—and while women do this in less evident ways every day, ‘The Vagina Monologues’ allows us each year new ways to recognize and cultivate our bonds,” said Dr. Elizabeth Savage.
The author herself, Eve Ensler, said: “Speaking about violence against women because of your mother, your sister, your aunt, your daughter, your girlfriend, your best friend, your wife. Speak about violence against women because the story of women is the story of life itself. In speaking about it, you cannot avoid speaking about racism and domination, poverty and patriarchy, empire building, war, sexuality, desire, imagination. The mechanism of violence is what destroys women, controls women, diminishes women and keeps them in their so-called place. Speak about violence, tell the stories, because in the telling, we legitimize women’s experience. We reveal what is happening in the dark, in the basement, out of sight. In the telling, women take their power back. Their voice. Their remembering. Their future.”