For the past 10 years, the students at Fairmont State University, along with faculty and members of the community, have produced “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler in accordance with V-Day International.
The show will be performed on the Wallman Hall stage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 21, 22 and 23. A $5 donation is suggested at the door. Ten percent of the funds collected will go to V-Day International. The rest of the funds collected will be distributed to HOPE, Inc., which supports victims of sexual assault or domestic violence, and the Marion County YWCA.
Katie Welch, president of the V-Day Warriors group on campus, is directing the cast comprised of Amber Walker, Beth Mills, Cherie Helsley, Emma Hooper, Erika Johnson, Ingrid Poole, Jeannie McGinty, JoDanna Simpson, Kayla Ferrell, Kiya Fitzgerald, M. Lanette Six, Laura Hooper, Phyl Charnes, Rebecca DeWitt and Sarah Garcia.
V-Day is a global activist movement to end 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.
“The V-Day Warriors rose out of a need to keep the stories going. All too often we found that we faced a struggle when talking about ‘The Vagina Monologues’ and about violence against women. So, we decided that a club on campus was necessary. We raise awareness on campus. We offer help and support for women who have been abused. We are a voice in our community. Many of our members have struggled with violence in their lives. We all feel that these stories need to be shared,” Welch said.
Dr. Elizabeth Savage serves as advisor for the V-Day Warriors campus organization.
“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,” Savage said.
“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.”
Suzie Hall is one of the founders of the V-Day Warriors group.
“I was proud to be a member of the original cast on this campus, but it was not until I was deeply involved with the production that I realized how many women in my life were affected by the violence of abuse and rape. The beauty of the One Billion Rising movement is that it encourages women all over the world to rise, stand and dance together. In a world where we are continuously taught to shrink ourselves, One Billion Rising gives us a time to take back our space. I know why I am rising and who I am rising for. Odds are every person reading this has someone to rise for and they just don’t know it and that needs to change. This is why I do this. Changing the story of women is why we all do this,” Hall said.