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   Date: 2/14/13 Bookmark and Share

Smith's Vagina Monologues Joins Global Campaign to End Violence Against Women

When The Vagina Monologues, a series of performed monologues by Eve Ensler, was first produced 15 years ago, it sparked a sort of revolution, helping women regard their bodies with fresh appreciation and insisting on a new societal comfort regarding women’s bodies and identities. Since then, the play has become much more than a stage production, broadening, through Ensler's V-Day campaign, into a worldwide phenomenon focused on helping women wherever they are oppressed.

For several years, Smith students have annually staged a production of The Vagina Monologues, around Valentines' Day, for consistently enthusiastic audiences. This year’s performance will take place on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) in John M. Greene Hall.

According to Kyla Prior '14, director of this year's production, some of the monologues will presented in a completely different light from past years.

"Every production takes on its own character," Prior explains. "Not only does the cast differ, but each monologue has its own interpretation unique to each performer."

The stories told in The Vagina Monologues remain relevant, says Prior, "and they still ring true. We hear about violence, acid burnings, honor killings, rape. The Vagina Monologues takes these events and makes them personal. The stories delve into intense topics, funny subjects, and even subjects that some people would rather were left unsaid."

This year, Ensler announced a new campaign called One Billion Rising, to raise awareness and bring about positive change in ending violence against women worldwide. According to Ensler, one in three women globally will be a victim of rape of physical violence during her lifetime—1 billion victims.

"The Vagina Monologues is a marker of Smith College's public conscience," notes Prior. As part of the production, funds will be raised, through ticket proceeds, for Safe Passage, a local shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

The Vagina Monologues is produced by Lila Berry '15; the stage manager is Caitlyn Levine '15.

Tickets for The Vagina Monologues are $10.

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