POWELL, Wyo. ─ The V-day movement to stop violence against women takes center stage in Powell with a 7 p.m. performance of the “The Vagina Monologues” Friday, Feb. 13, in the Yellowstone Building Conference Room.
“The Vagina Monologues” (TVM) is the cornerstone of V-Day, a global nonprofit movement that has raised more than $75 million for women’s antiviolence groups since its inception in 1998.
Thousands of local benefit productions of TVM are staged every year on campuses across the country to raise funds for local groups, shelters and crisis centers working to end violence against women.
The work has been translated into 48 languages and performed in more than 140 countries.
The first draft was written in 1996 by American playwright Eve Ensler, who conducted interviews with hundreds of women about their views on sex, relationships and violence against women.
The groundbreaking play won Ensler the 1997 Obie Award for Best New Play, the 1999 Guggenheim Fellowship Award in Playwriting and numerous other recognitions.
Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, Melissa Etheridge, Whoopi Goldberg and a host of other celebrities have read monologues in performances across the country.
Each monologue deals with an aspect of the feminine experience, touching on issues that are often taboo in public. Some are playful, some are piquant, others poetic, others pointed. All are candid. All are thought provoking.
A new monologue is added every year to highlight a current issue affecting women around the world. During the war in Yugoslavia, to draw attention to the plight of Bosnian women in refugee camps, “My Vagina Was My Village” was added. It is based on one woman’s story of war rape, and will be read by Charlotte Patrick, a former NWC faculty member.
One of the most popular monologues, “I Was There In The Room,” was written by Ensler after watching the birth of her granddaughter. It will be read by Cynthia Garhart.
Jeannie Hunt will moderate the program. Other readers include Sue Simpson Gallagher of Cody and Rachel Hanan, Glenn Koelling and Andrea Shipley of Powell. NWC student readers are Nikki Riley of Basin, Josiah Hogan of Powell and Kathryn Slacks of Billings, Mont.
Performers will be on hand after the play to discuss issues and local resources related to the topics.
“The Vagina Monologues” is sponsored in Powell by the NWC Student Success Center Counseling Office.
Admission is free, but donations will be accepted on behalf of Northwest Family Planning.