'The Vagina Monologues' comes to WIU
February 8, 2013
MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's annual performance of playwright Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" ("TVM") will be held on the Macomb campus Friday, Feb. 15 – Sunday, Feb.17 as part of the V-Day 2013 campaign. V-Day is a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Ensler's award winning play and other artistic works.
The Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center first floor multipurpose/activity room. Sunday's performance begins at 2 p.m.
Advance tickets are $10 for students and $12 for non-students and are on sale in the Women's Center (Suite 209), Multicultural Center. Tickets also may be purchased from members of the cast and crew. If the performances do not sell out in advance, admission at the door will be $12 for students and $14 for non-students.
Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the start of each performance and a resource table fair will provide informational materials about support services for victims, survivors and women and men interested in helping prevent and end all forms of sexual and interpersonal violence.
As part of the fundraising efforts, buttons, t-shirts, books, and other V-Day merchandise also will be for sale. All proceeds from the V-Day 2013 event will benefit local, national and international violence prevention efforts and survivor support services.
The WIU V-Day campaign is sponsored by the Women's Center and the Feminist Action Alliance (FAA) student organization. This is the 12th year "The Vagina Monologues" has been performed at Western.
"We've held 'The Vagina Monologues' at WIU since 2001, with the exception of one year (2003), and we've had packed audiences and nearly sold-out houses every year," said Janine Cavicchia, director of the WIU Women's Center. "I continue to be amazed at, and inspired by, the incredible talent and passion of our cast and crew. I am proud of them for their hard work and impressed by their outstanding performances."
Women's Center graduate assistant and FAA graduate advisor Katie Mey, who is producing this year's show, said she is very excited to be involved with V-Day and "The Vagina Monologues" at WIU.
"I have the pleasure of working with a wonderful cast and crew of students and other community members to put together a powerful show dedicated to giving voice to the stories of women from around the world," she said. "These performances will make you laugh, cry, and be moved to help women everywhere. They are a call to join the ‘One Billion Rising' this year in taking a stand to end violence against women and girls."
Cierce Carter, a forensic chemistry student from Springfield IL, is directing this year's play. Carter has acted in many plays in the past, and "TVM" is her first production as director.
"I became interested in "TVM" when I heard about it in WIIT (Western Illinois Interactive Theater), which focuses on 'tough' subjects (dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking)," Carter said. "I am incredibly happy and feel blessed to be able to be actively involved in V-day. I love the cast and am excited about what they bring to this production."
Cast member and FAA executive board member Margaret "Megan" Hasselroth, a senior sociology major from Rock Island, IL, said "The Vagina Monologues" has been the highlight of her college career.
"This is my fourth year participating, and I decided to take a more serious role instead of a humorous one this year," she said.
According to the V-Day website, in honor of V-Day's 15th anniversary on Feb. 14, V-Day International is "inviting one billion women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up, and demand an end to this violence. 'One Billion Rising' will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders."
"FAA is pleased to announce that we will be holding our own rising here on Western's campus this year," said FAA executive board member and "TVM" cast member Stephanie Jacobs, a junior psychology major with a double minor in neuroscience and French, from Prophetstown. "We're planning to hold a flash mob on Feb. 14 in the University Union, and FAA will have a table in the Union that day giving out information and inviting people to write their own reasons 'Why I am Rising...' on a whiteboard and have their picture taken and posted on our Facebook page."
Jacobs added that anyone interested in participating can come learn the "One Billion Rising" dance in the Multicultural Center from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Depending on interest and availability, a second rehearsal time may be held Feb. 12.
WIU Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator Sean Dixon, who serves as assistant director of Western's Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men's Development (CSMMD) and an adviser of the Men Advocating Non-violence (MAN) student organization, is working with students and staff from several departments and organizations on campus to coordinate the V-Men component of WIU's V-Day 2013 activities. A V-Men Workshop, facilitated by Jason Laker, an internationally renowned consultant on engaging men in ending violence against women, will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Multicultural Center.
Last year, more than 5,800 V-Day events were held around the world. To date, the V-Day movement has raised more than $90 million and reached more than 300 million people and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it.
For more information about the V-Day Worldwide Campaign visit vday.org and indiegogo.com/projects/292764. For more information about local V-Day activities visit wiu.edu/wc or facebook.com/WIUWomensCenter, or contact the Women's Center at (309) 298-2242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.