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From the Superdome in New Orleans to Atlanta, "Swimming Upstream" to Premiere November 5-26 at True Colors Theatre Company



Special New Orleans Performance on November 18 in New Orleans for Ashe Cultural Center's 10th Anniversary

October 22, 2008 – V-Day's 10th anniversary year continues with the announcement of the first theatrical run for Swimming Upstream.

V-Day and Ashe` Cultural Arts Center, have partnered with acclaimed director Kenny Leon, artistic director of True Colors Theatre Company, to bring Swimming Upstream, a look into real-life stories from women who survived Hurricane Katrina, to Atlanta audiences.

The play was originally incubated and coordinated by V-Day Founder/Artistic Director Eve Ensler and Founder of the Ashe` Cultural Arts Center. Carol Bebelle. Together Carol and Eve worked with sixteen writers to produce a fluid piece of storytelling with humor and music that comes from the hearts of New Orleanians. It premiered to great acclaim and an audience of thousands at the Louisiana Superdome as part of V-Day's anniversary in April.

Swimming Upstream, a powerful and intimate production, transforms consciousness and moves people's hearts through the telling of raw, lyrical, soulful stories of women who have lived through the flood with grace, rage, humor and great resiliency. The Atlanta cast will feature Phylicia Rashad, Jasmine Guy, Shirley Knight, Kerry Washington and New Orleanian performers Troi Bechet, Asali Njeri DeVan, Anne-Liese Juge Fox, Karen-kaia Livers and singers, Michaela A. Harrison, GaBrilla Ballard, Leslie Blackshear Smith some of whom are also writers of pieces in the show.

An opening night gala celebration will take place on Thursday, November 6 and will include a Big Easy-inspired party featuring music and cuisine at the W Atlanta Midtown Hotel. The gala will benefit Ashe`, V-Day and True Colors. The show runs November 5-16 at the 14th Street Playhouse. Swimming Upstream at the 14th Street Playhouse, 117 14th Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, November 5 – 16; Tickets: $35 - $50 or 404.733.5000.

Swimming Upstream will return to New Orleans on November 18th for a very special performance at Ashe Cultural Arts Center to celebrate Ashe's 10th Anniversary with a local and celebrity cast – to be announced.

About V-Day
V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler's award winning play The Vagina Monologues, as well as V-Day's A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer, and screenings of V-Day's documentary Until The Violence Stops. V-Day 2009 events have the option to introduce a new V-Day theatrical event, Any One Of Us: Words From Prison, which reveals the connection between women in prison and the violence that often brings them there. This new event will bring forth raw voices of fierceness and honesty written by women from prisons across the nation and performed by local women.

In 2008, over 4000 V-Day benefit events took place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $60 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, launched the Karama program in the Middle East, reopened shelters, and funded over 6000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic Of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. V-Day was named one of Worth magazine's "100 Best Charities" in 2001 and Marie Claire's "Top Ten Charities" in 2006. The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina. .