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The Monologues are Back

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The Vagina Monologues
2/16 and 19, 7 p.m. • $5-$10
UNCW’s Lumina Theater
601 S. College Rd.
www.vday.org

VA-VA-VOOM: A young girl presents what V-Day means to her at UNCW’s 2011 event. Photo courtesy of Del Manos Design

Forget what Hallmark says. the “V” in V-Day stands for “vagina,” not “Valentine’s.” Yes, va-gin-a—as in “The Vagina Monologues,” first written and performed by Eve Ensler in 1996.

The Women’s Studies Student Association (WSSA) at UNCW is presenting the production for the 12th year now. UNCW is just one of thousands of schools across the United States to put on the benefit show for V-Day, a global non-profit movement which raises money for women’s anti-violence groups.

Eve Ensler and others founded V-Day in 1998, after the huge success of her original monologues. The movement hopes to combat sexual violence against women and is making progress toward unifying all anti-violence efforts. Each year introduces a “Spotlight Campaign,” wherein all profits raised that year go toward one issue. This year, the focus is on the women and girls in Haiti, where rates of sexual violence have increased drastically since the major earthquake two years ago.

Ten percent of the proceeds from UNCW’s shows will go directly to V-Day International. The rest of the money will be donated to a local cause, The Rape Crisis Center of Coastal Horizons Center, Inc. The center provides free help to any victim of sexual violence, as well as the family and friends of those who have been abused. These services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, individual counseling, support groups, and law and court advocacy. In the last 18 months alone, RCC has offered such help to almost 600 survivors of sexual violence in southeastern North Carolina.

This year the performance is co-directed by one of RCC’s own, Jessica Green, as well as UNCW graduate student and teacher’s assistant Autumn Beam. Beam, who has been a photographer and performer in past years, is embarking on her fourth run of the show. Aside from being a proponent for its cause, she loves the ties that come with its participation.

“It’s a unique opportunity to bond with other women in the university and community,” she explains. “I feel strongly about ending violence against women and this is a great avenue for activism.”

Twenty-one other volunteers (of all ages and ethnicities) make up the cast, all of whom are UNCW faculty and staff, students or volunteers at RCC. They will be delivering a 90-minute show of hilarious, uncomfortable, and tear-jerking monologues—all centering around the vagina. One monologue, “My Angry Vagina,” is a funny rant about the traumatizing tools that the vagina must endure: tampons, OB/GYN gadgets, etc…
For those who have seen the performance before, it is no reason to skip this go ‘round. Some of the scripts will be the same, but there is a fresh cast and a few new monologues for 2012.

“It’s a lot of fun to see,” Beam says, “and see what has changed, [while] listening to women of all ages talk about ‘their down theres’ in a public setting.”

Director of UNCW’s Women’s Studies and Resource Center, Michelle Scatton-Tessier, Ph.D, adds, “‘The Vagina Monologues’ have something for everyone. You’ll laugh, cry, be angered, be challenged and blush.”

Last year, 720 audience members filled the seats in two sold-out shows in Lumina Theater. This year should not be any different. “The Vagina Monologues” will be performed on Thursday, February 16th, at 7 p.m.; and on Sunday, February 19th, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the general public or $5 for UNCW students. Tickets can be ordered online at www.etix.com or in person at Sharkey’s Box Office, Fisher Student Center, (910) 962-4045.

To learn more about V-Day or the Rape Crisis Center, visit www.vday.org or www.coastalhorizons.org.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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