In 1996, Eve Ensler interviewed 200 women about relationships, sex, prejudice, harassment, and violence against women. While her original intent was to publish a series of monologues based on casual conversations with friends and a celebration of femininity, her project quickly morphed into a banner act that aimed to stop violence against women.
This year, a Phoenix production of Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" + One Billion Rising will take the stage at Playhouse on the Park in downtown Phoenix.
The show will be produced by local activist Stacey Champion and directed by Phoenix Center for the Arts' Joseph Benesh and proceeds will benefit Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Champion writes that the production will take place on national VDAY on February 14 -- "V" standing for victory, valentine and, of course, vagina.
"V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls," writes Champion in the event's invite." 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."
Champion notes that participants need no formal acting training, but must identify as a female, and will be reading monologues from the original production. Auditions will be held Sunday, December 16 from noon to 3 p.m. and Monday, December 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. Third St..
Participants must be willing to commit to rehearsals as well as two performances on February 14. Champion says those wanting to audition should choose a monologue from Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues to read. This includes monologues from the original production and ones that have been added over the years. Monologues will also be available at the theater.
Tickets for the showings (at 6 p.m. at 9 p.m.) at the Playhouse are $30 and will be available soon online.