March 19, 2008

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

Vagina Monologues Expected to Draw 500 People

VALDOSTA - About 500 people are expected to attend performances of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” at 7 p.m. March 28 and 29 in the Hugh C. Bailey Science auditorium (room 1011). Twenty-three VSU students will perform the award-winning episodic play based on 200 interviews Ensler conducted with women about sex, relationships, violence against women - and of course - their vaginas.

VSU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program is sponsoring the event, which has grown throughout the world from a celebration of femininity to the premiere event associated with V-Day - a global non-profit movement established in 1998 to stop violence against women and girls. In 2008, more than 3,700 V-Day benefit events, such as “The Vaginas Are Coming!” at VSU, are being held between Feb. 1 and March 31 to raise money for shelters, crisis centers and educators working to end sexual and physical violence against women. Valdosta State’s two productions will donate 10 percent of the proceeds to Katrina Warriors, women affected by Hurricane Katrina. The remainder of the money raised from ticket sales will fund the Women’s and Gender Studies Sexual Assault Prevention and Intervention Program.

“Some of the monologues are sad, some are funny; but they all relate to women’s sexual experiences whether they be good or bad,” said Heather Harvey, a junior Mass Media student involved with the monologues. “We want to get knowledge out there about sexual violence against women. We also want women to know its okay to love your body and all its parts.”

Harvey said that although the performances are clearly focused on the female experience, men - women’s sons, fathers and lovers - are encouraged to attend the event.

“Knowledge knows no gender, so it is important for both men and women to come,” Harvey said. “We want to get knowledge out there about sexual violence against women, and we want to educate and share the female experience with both men and women.”

Tickets to each performance, which costs $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors, may be purchased in advance at the Women’s and Gender Studies Program office in Carswell Hall at 1526 N. Oak St. and at the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice in the University Center. Tickets may also be purchased at the door the night of the event, but since performances have sold out in the past, organizers encourage people to purchase tickets in advance.

“Last year was our first year of participating in V-Day and performing “The Vagina Monologues.” We had three productions and all three nights were sold out,” said Tracy Meyers, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. “We received lots of praise from students, faculty and staff for participating in this global movement. One man from the community said to me, ‘I am so glad you are doing this; we were wondering if “The Vagina Monologues” would ever get performed here. It is about time.’”

For more information, call the Women’s and Gender Studies Program office at (229) 249-4842.

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