Eve Ensler VAGINA MONOLOGUES Celebrates 20 Years of Female Activism
For its 20th anniversary, V-Day is calling on activists around the world to Rise, Resist, and Unite. In 2018, staging a V-Day production of The Vagina Monologues or organizing a One Billion Rising event is more than a theatrical experience, it is an ARTISTIC UPRISING, a RADICAL act, an ACT OF RESISTANCE.
Twenty years ago, Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues gave birth to V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against all women and girls (cisgender, transgender, and gender non-conforming). The play and the playwright exploded onto the scene, garnering headlines and rave reviews, filling the theater night after night, breaking taboos, opening spaces for dialogue where they hadn't existed before, and shattering the silence around women's experiences with sexuality and violence. It was ground breaking.
Before The Vagina Monologues, the word 'vagina' was largely unspoken, unseen. In 1998, witnessing the play's power to transform how women talk about their bodies and their sexuality, Eve - together with a group of activists - created V-Day, turning the play into a movement and creating a mechanism for local activists to stage benefit productions of the play on college campuses and in communities across the world. By 2006, The New York Times called The Vagina Monologues "probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade," and the play and Ensler received numerous accolades, including an Obie Award and a Tony Award.
Over twenty years, V-Day activists have staged tens of thousands of benefit productions of the play in at least 48 different languages and 200 countries, raising funds for local groups including rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters. V-Day campaigns have educated communities, changed laws to protect women and girls, and raised well over $100 million in urgently needed funds for groups working to end violence and serve survivors and their families.
Today, V-Day is a crucial part of the global fight to stop gender-based violence through attacking the silence - public and private - that allows violence against women to continue and bringing much-needed attention to issues of harassment, rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation, and sex slavery.
To mark this 20th anniversary, several key events are taking place:
· Ballantine Books is releasing the 20th anniversary edition of "The Vagina Monologues," featuring new monologues and a new intro by Eve Ensler, a new foreword by Jacqueline Woodson and an afterward by Monique Wilson, plus a new expanded chapter on the V-Day movement by Executive Director Susan Celia Swan and Programs Director Purva Panday Cullman. Release date: January 9, 2018
· V-Day activists worldwide will stage benefit productions of "The Vagina Monologues" and One Billion Rising events as artistic uprisings, spotlighting creative resistance efforts in their communities
· A newly-updated "What is V-Day?" video tells the story of the movement in less than 4 minutes
· A special anniversary benefit is taking place on February 14, 2018 featuring Eve Ensler performing her newest play, "In The Body Of The World," at Manhattan Theater Club and V20: The Red Party at Carnegie Hall. Proceeds from the invite-only evening will benefit V-Day's continuing global work. ABC Carpet & Home in NYC will Feature V20 Windows Showcasing Iconic Images from the 20 Years of V-Day Activism Worldwide
· Global V-Day Activists/Women's Leaders including Christine Schuler Deschryver (City of Joy in Congo), Agnes Pareyio (V-Day Safe House for the Girls/Kenya), and Rada Boric (One Billion Rising Global Coordinator/Bosnia) will travel to NYC to mark the anniversary.
· Ensler returns to the NYC stage in her newest one woman show, "In the Body of the World." Ensler will have three of her plays staged in NYC in 2018: "In the Body of the World," "The Fruit Trilogy," and "Extraordinary Measures."
Eve Ensler stated, "At a time when the President of the United States of America has openly bragged about being a sexual assaulter, making him not the Commander-in-Chief but rather the Predator-in-Chief, and in a year where some of the most powerful arbiters of culture - Trump, Cosby, Ailes, and Weinstein - have been publicly exposed as sexual assaulters, we need more than ever to stand up and speak out, demanding that once and for all policies be instituted - across all industries - that prevent these situations from happening ever again."
Ensler continued, "In the first 20 years of V-Day, women activists broke the silence, bringing us here to this moment where predators have been outed. In the next 20 years, we need to go further and make sure the first time someone sexually abuses someone they are stopped in their tracks there and then, not years later."
V-Day, One Billion Rising, & City of Joy in 2018
SAY IT, STAGE IT In 2018, staging a production of The Vagina Monologues or A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer is more than just a theatrical experience; it is an ARTISTIC UPRISING, a RADICAL act, an ACT OF RESISTANCE. Activists will be staging The Vagina Monologues and A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer all over the globe, on college campuses, in communities, theaters, and radical spaces, and featuring diverse casts. Activists in each community who are leading resistance efforts will be invited to give monologues about their work and lives after the play's original pieces. The productions will also amplify and lift up the most marginalized groups and activists by casting and intentionally creating spaces meant for undocumented women (who have made the decision to be public about their status), formerly incarcerated women, Indigenous women, immigrant women, trans women and gender non-conforming individuals.
RISE, RESIST, UNITE In 2013 (its 15th Anniversary). V-Day launched a new movement, One Billion Rising, which calls on the one billion women who have been beaten or raped in the world - and those who love them - to rise as one on February 14th to demand an end to violence against women and shine a light on global efforts to end it. This year, the theme of the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign will be "Solidarity Against the Exploitation of Women." OBR has become a movement in itself, taking activism out of the theater and into the streets, front and center. A new One Billion Rising blog series "Dispatches from the Ground" featuring voices of activists on the ground has launched, with the first entry being from Afghanistan.
TURNING PAIN TO POWER As we begin 2018, City of Joy, a revolutionary center treating victims of gender violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, supported by V-Day, will have graduated 1000 women leaders, and the eponymous, award-winning documentary film about the center will continue to be shown at film festivals worldwide.
Instagram: @vdayorg, @one_billion_rising, @cityofjoyfilm
Twitter: @vday, @cityofjoyfilm
About V-Day: V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler¹s award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. The V-Day movement has raised over $100 million; educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it; crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns; reopened shelters; and funded over 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Iraq. V-Day launched another movement - ONE BILLION RISING, a global campaign that has galvanized over one billion women and men on a global day of action towards ending violence against women and girls, and founded CITY OF JOY, a revolutionary leadership center for survivors of gender violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. V-Day has received numerous acknowledgements and awards and is, one of the Top-Rated organizations on both Charity Navigator and Guidestar.