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More than $16,000 Raised in Production of the ‘Vagina Monologues’


Originally published in:
Collegiate Times
03/24/2005

Lindsay Pieper

http://www.collegiatetimes.com/index.php?ID=5496

The Virginia Tech V-Day Initiative, in association with the Women’s Center and the Department of Theatre Arts, hosted three sold-out performances of the ‘Vagina Monologues’ on Feb. 4, 5 and 6, raising over $16,000.

The V-Day Initiative was developed four years ago and has incorporated the “Vagina Monologues” as the major fundraiser in three of the years.

Katie Ownby, Virginia Tech V-Day Initiative president, explained that 85 percent of the money earned this year went to the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley and an additional 10 percent to the National V-Day Organization. IWiN, International Women in Need, a group aiding women through spotlighting a specific country each year, received the remaining 5 percent.

“IWiN aids women in different countries … from stopping gang rape to gaining an education. This year’s spotlight country is Sudan,” Ownby said.

The three sold-out shows continue to illustrate the popularity of the “Vagina Monologues,” since all nine performances held at Tech have sold-out.

“I was expecting to sell-out opening night, and surprised to see a waiting list for Saturday and Sunday,” said “Vagina Monologues” Assistant Director Monique Cooke.

Although ticket sales for this year’s “Vagina Monologues” did not sell as quickly as in the past, Ownby, unlike Cooke, was not surprised with the outcome.

“Every show in the past sold out, it’s a very popular performance,” Ownby said.

Based on Eve Ensler’s interviews with over 200 women, the “Vagina Monologues” touches on a variety of issues, ranging from pubic hair to genital mutilation and sexual slavery. The show interweaves the humorous topics involved with being a woman with the grave issues.

“This show is about giving voice to the voiceless, breaking the silence, speaking the truth, celebrating our humanness, fighting fear, beating back shame … honoring our mothers and grandmothers and paving a way for ourselves,” said Director Susanna Rinehart.

“The ‘Vagina Monologues’ and the V-Day Initiative are inextricably interwoven. The V-Day Initiative involves all of the education, advocacy, community-building and publicity surrounding the show … (while) the ‘Vagina Monologues’ is the centerpiece,” Rinehart said.

Ownby said V-Day is a global movement created to stop violence against women and children. The “V” in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.

“Violence against women and children is a real thing, and it does need to be stopped,” Ownby said.