‘The Vagina Monologues’ comes to Carson City Protest about violence against women plays to benefit Advocates to End Domestic Violence | NevadaAppeal.com

‘The Vagina Monologues’ comes to Carson City Protest about violence against women plays to benefit Advocates to End Domestic Violence

Sam Bauman
Appeal Entertainment Editor

The dramatic outcry about violence against women, “The Vagina Monologues” comes to Carson City on Friday and Saturday as part of a nationwide benefit called “V-DAY: Until the Violence Stops.” It is a controversial production for obvious reasons, but it has been widely acclaimed, won an Obie when it was first staged in New York City in 1996, and has since been performed worldwide and on television.

Written by Eve Ensler, who starred in the original one-woman production, it is now staged with many female voices, all local, commenting on the condition of women today.

Wild Horse Productions with the Plaza Hotel and Conference Center presents the “Monologues” as a benefit for the Advocates to End Domestic Violence and for the V-DAY program.

Ensler launched V-Day in 1998 as a global nonprofit venture that has raised more than $50 million. This year the show focuses on the women of New Orleans and the Gulf region.

A host of local women play the many roles, ranging from Micha Marie Stevens, who directs the show, to June Joplin, owner of Comma Coffee.

“I wanted to bring a voice to the voiceless in this area,” said Stevens. “The ‘V-Monos’ is not about the theatrical but rather real woman talking about real women’s issues. The timing is impeccable with all the rapes, violence and even recent death of our own community members. It is a way to bring awareness to this area, we are not an isolated pocket to the world.”

The ‘Monologues’ are fun, informative, witty, sad and suggestive. How fun is that? It is not often we go to a theater show where it provokes new ideas and people walking out with a different view.”

“The Vagina Monologues” offers monologues relating to the vagina, be it through sex, love, rape, menstruation, mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the variety of names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the female body.

A recurring theme is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality.

Every year a new monologue is added to highlight a current issue affecting women around the world. In 2003 Ensler wrote a new monologue about the plight of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

This monologue is known as “Under the Burqa ” and is performed at thousands of local V-Day benefit productions.

Ensler wrote the first draft of the monologues in 1996 following interviews she conducted with 200 women about their views on sex, relationships and violence against women.

The first V-Day benefit took place on Valentine’s Day 1998 and many of the local benefits are held on Valentine’s Day. The “V” in V-Day stands for Valentine, Vagina and Victory, linking love and respect for women to ending violence against women and girls. The proceeds from these performances go to programs that work to end violence against women and girls, including crisis centers and women’s shelters.

“The Monologues” is not without criticism. Elements of the play critics find offensive include:

• The amount of attention given to brutal sexual encounters compared with consensual or harmonious sexual encounters.

• Negative portrayal of male-female sexual relationships.

• In “The Little Coochie Snorcher that Could,” a thirteen-year-old girl recounts being fed alcohol and then having sex with an adult woman. The incident is recalled fondly by the grown girl. The girl’s age later was changed to 16.

Despite these criticisms, most have found “The Vagina Monologues” to be rewarding. It’s up to Carson City theatergoers to make up their minds.

• Contact Sam Bauman at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.

If you go

what: “The Vagina Monologues” – a multi-cast performance of a show about women and abuse, parental discretion suggested

where: Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, 801 S. Carson St.

when: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday

tickets: $15 at http://www.WildhorseTheater.com, 887-0438 or at the door.