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BARD STUDENTS TO PERFORM THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES AS FUNDRAISER TO FIGHT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Performances to be staged in the Sosnoff Theater of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard

Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. ― Since its first production in 1996, Eve Ensler’s Obie Award winning play The Vagina Monologues has become an international phenomenon, inspiring viewers with its poignant, often harrowing, and frequently funny monologues based on interviews with hundreds of women from diverse backgrounds. From Thursday, February 12, through Saturday,

February 14, Bard College students will bring this phenomenon to the Sosnoff Theater of Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, staging their own production of The Vagina Monologues as an awareness-raising benefit event coinciding with V-Day, created by Ensler to raise funds for programs to prevent violence against women. Proceeds from the Bard performances will be divided between the V-Day organization, which this year is focusing its efforts on the missing and murdered women of Juarez, Mexico, and Family Domestic Violence Services of Family of Woodstock, Inc., a United Way agency. Recommended minimum donation is $10.00, $5.00 for students. For information and to make reservations call the Fisher Center Box Office at 845-758-7900. Any unreserved seats will be made available at the box office prior to each performance.

This year’s performance is being produced by student Mara Bond, who first experienced The Vagina Monologues last year when it was presented at Bard for the first time. "It changed my life," Bond says of her first reading of the play, which was initially given to her by her mother. "I’m producing this event because I owe something to a show that brings tears, laughs, giggles, and screams to its viewers," she says. Last year she had an opportunity to perform two of the monologues, and she found the experience liberating. "Everyone shared their stories and I began to see that I wasn’t alone in my experiences. After working on the monologues for about three months I began to truly discover myself and become ready to make a difference."

Last year’s production was a tremendous success, Bond says, and with this year’s event taking place in the new Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, her hopes for the production run high. Bond not only hopes to raise substantial funds for V-Day and Family Domestic Violence Services, but also to expose as many people as possible to the monologues. "I want all types of listeners: straight, gay, feminist, misogynist, young and old. The Vagina Monologues offers a way to build awareness, and that is something everyone involved in this production wants to accomplish ― creating an awareness that will transform the world into a place without violence against women."

Bond is working closely with director Julie Rossman and 15 Bard student-actors: Lucy Kaminsky, Emily Berninger, Elena Alschuler (who produced last year’s staging), Jo-Ann Prudhomme, Emilia Allan, Emily Schmall, Julia Mancini, Liz Franczak, Gaia Filicori, Jessica Herzfeld, Veta Allen, Casi Kolbjornsen, Brook Lillard, and Suzanne Richardson. Assistance has been provided by the Fisher Center staff and by BRAVE (Bard's Response to Rape and Associated Violence Education), Student Activities, and faculty adviser Shelley Wyant, with additional funding provided by Bard College.

The Vagina Monologues will be performed on Thursday, February 12, at 8:00 p.m.,

Friday, Februay 13, at 8:00 p.m., and on Saturday, Feburary 14, at 8:00 p.m. For ticket information or to make reservations, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900.


About V-Day, The Vagina Monologues, and Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler’s Obie Award winning play, The Vagina Monologues has been translated into over 25 languages and is performed in theaters all over the world. The play initiated V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.

Ensler’s play Necessary Targets, set in a Bosnian refugee camp, opened Off-Broadway at the Variety Arts Theater in February 2002, after a hit run at Hartford Stage. Her other plays include Conviction, Lemonade, The Depot, Floating Rhoda and The Glue Man. The Vagina Monologues

and Necessary Targets have both been published by Villard/Random House.

Ensler has devoted her life to stopping violence, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive. Her work grows out of her own personal experiences with violence. The Vagina Monologues is based on Ensler's interviews with more than 200 women. The piece celebrates womens' sexuality and strength, and exposes the violations that women endure throughout the world.

V-Day originated out of Ensler's conversations with women who approached her after early performances of The Vagina Monologues, to tell her of their own experiences of violence. She began to use performances of the play to raise funds for organizations working to stop violence. Soon, she and the group of women who make up V-Day found that support for their efforts was far-reaching and expansive. What began as a simple possibility quickly transformed into a worldwide social and activist movement.

Today, V-Day is a global movement that helps anti-violence organizations throughout the world continue and expand their core work on the ground, while drawing public attention to the larger fight to stop worldwide violence (including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual slavery) against women and girls. V-Day exists for no other reason than to stop violence against women. In just five years, it has raised over $14 million and was named one of Worth magazine's "100 Best Charities" in 2001.

V-Day stages large-scale benefits and promotes innovative gatherings and programs (The Afghan Women's Summit, The Stop Rape Contest, Indian Country Project, and more) to change social attitudes towards violence against women. In 2003, more than 1000 V-Day benefit events - produced by local volunteer activists and performed in theaters, community centers, houses of worship, and college campuses – took place around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls and raising funds for local groups within their communities.

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This event was last updated on 02-25-2004