V-Day returns to UWRF
December 3, 2009
Now that it’s almost Christmas, let’s discuss Valentine’s Day. It’s that wonderful time of year filled with chintzy paper hearts and Mutant Ninja Turtle valentines.
Thanks to the mercy of one student organization, however, there’s an alternative to spending another Feb. 14 dodging all the true-love merchandise—you’re still going to be tired from doing that all December anyway.
Rise Up for Women’s Rights is bringing back some controversy this year, hosting “V-Day University of Wisconsin, River Falls 2010 (The Vagina Monologues).” Three performances of The Vagina Monologues will be held respectively on Feb. 12, 13 and 14, directed by 22-year-old Chelsea Chase in her directorial debut.
All profits from tickets sold will be donated to Turning Point in River Falls. Turning Point provides services to both men and women, including shelter for victims of violence, information referral, support groups, one-on-one support, a 24-hour crisis hotline, community education, and legal advocacy.
Campus last had the opportunity to see the groundbreaking play in Spring 2007 by the Women’s Initiative Committee of the Student Senate. And here’s our new chance, back by popular demand.
The Vagina Monologues first entered the theatrical scene in 1996, showcasing monologues written by Eve Ensler (a playwright, performer, and activist) after she conducted over 200 interviews with women about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women.
In 1998, Ensler and her supporters, inspired from the experience of the production, launched V-Day, a non-profit of global proportions. In its ten-year span the organization has raised over $70 million for women’s anti-violence groups worldwide. Funds are raised through profits from productions of The Vagina Monologues, festivals, and other large-scale benefits.
Other works have been added to the V-Day production, including fresh monologues, another theatrical performance called, “Any One of Us: Words from Prison,” and a documentary.
As with any good production, there need be good actresses. Rise Up is hosting auditions Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Eau Galle River Room 332 and Thursday, Dec. 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Chippewa River Room 322, both in the University Center. There will be between five and 20 roles to fill, and women or anyone currently living as a woman of any age with acting experience are encouraged to attend.
Even men get a chance to show their support by assisting with campaigning, directing, technical procedures and more-all with the precise title, “V-Men.”
One in three women worldwide will be a victim of violence. According to a 2004 National Crime Victimization Survey, one in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, and 10 percent of sexual assault victims are men. 73 percent of family violence victims are female…that’s three in four victims, states the U.S. Bureau of Justice in June 2005. In the U.S., someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes.
According to www.vday.org, the organization’s official Web site, “V-Day hopes that the devastating and true stories that are the foundation of “The Vagina Monologues” will inspire people who see productions of the play to help V-Day in its efforts to stop all violence against women and girls.”
Thousands of V-Day benefits like the one Rise Up for Women’s Rights is hosting at UWRF this February happen every year on college campuses and communities throughout the world. It’s refreshing to have the opportunity to attend and even audition for such an important happening on campus.
For more information, seek out the Facebook group, “Call for Auditions: UWRF presenting The Vagina Monologues (1st Round)” and/or “Call for Auditions: UWRF presenting The Vagina Monologues (2nd Round).”
<b>Laura Krawczyk</b> is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.