Carleton College will present its annual student-produced and performed production of Even Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. The public is invited and there is a suggested donation of $5 to $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit The Hope Center in Faribault and the V-Day Spotlight Campaign (www.vday.org), a global movement to end violence against women and girls.
First performed in 1994, playwright and activist Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues” “offered the world a piece of art like nothing it had seen before,” says student coordinator Lauren Chow ’14 (Weston, Mass.). The ground breaking production was based on dozens of interviews Ensler conducted with women, addressing women's sexuality and the social stigma surrounding rape and abuse. The result was a new conversation about and with women.
“The Vagina Monologues” ran Off-Broadway for five years in New York and then toured the United States. After every performance, Ensler found women waiting to share their own stories of survival, leading her to realize that “The Vagina Monologues” could be more than a moving work of art on violence; she divined that the performances could be a mechanism for moving people to act to end violence.
On Valentines Day, 1998, Ensler, with a group of women in New York City, established V-Day. Set up as a 501(c)(3) and originally staffed by volunteers, the organization's seed money came from a star-studded, sold out benefit performance at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, a show that raised $250,000 in a single evening. In support of V-Day, “The Vagina Monologues” are performed nationally each year to help support the mission of V-Day.
V-Day's mission is simple. It demands that violence against women and girls must end. To do this, once a year, in February, March, and April, Ensler allows groups around the world to produce a performance of the play, as well as other works created by V-Day, and use the proceeds for local individual projects and programs that work to end violence against women and girls, often shelters and rape crisis centers. What began as one event in New York City in 1998 today includes over 5,800 V-Day events each year.
The Hope Center works against sexual and domestic violence through crisis intervention, counseling, and legal advocacy. Through innovative programming, they offer direct support to victims of violence in Rice County, collaborative support to other organizations that serve victims, and educational support to the entire community. For more information, visit hopecentermn.org.
This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Gender & Sexuality Center. For more information, including disability accommodations, please call (507) 222-7179. Please note, this performance contains mature themes and stories about sexual violence. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street, between College and Winona Streets, in Northfield.