"It was actually nothing like I expected it to be, it felt as though all of my thoughts that ran through my head on a daily basis was exploded into my ears by the various poems, making me feel more comfortable about myself, It was intriguing to hear stories about different women and their stories and experiences about their vagina and what they did to make it known that it's a treasure and must be loved!"
- Teen Leader at SquashBusters, One Billion Rising Teen Organizer, Vagina Monologues Audience member
It’s true that many people don’t know what to expect upon walking into a performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. Many are curious, some are nervous, and all come to support the movement of ending violence against women and girls.
This year, for the fifth year, the Organized Women of Boston GLOW along with the YWCA Boston and the YBWS, joined together to present the Boston Community Production of The Vagina Monologues to three sold out audiences ultimately fundraising over $6500 for local Boston organizations working in the community to empower women and girls. This year’s beneficiaries include Boston GLOW, The Young Black Women’s Society, The YWCA Boston and Victory Programs. “We are thrilled to support these organizations who work diligently daily to empower women, provide resources and ensure that women in Boston are thriving” said 2013 performance organizer Lori Manzelli. “We raised the money through sold-out ticket sales as well as with the support of 20 local businesses and artists that graciously provided raffle prizes and donations to support the cause.”
Nestled in the Kuumba library at Boston’s YWCA, a total of 330 audience members laughed, cried and cringed along with the performers. One of the inspiring aspects of The Vagina Monologues is that each year, the cast consists of all volunteers, women in the community who donate their time to rehearse and perform the show. This year 35 women from the area stepped up to the challenge of telling the various histories, facts and stories of the female experiences. “We were proud of the diversity of the women in our cast reflecting so many ages, backgrounds, experiences and walks of life” explains director, Tashia Graham, “One of the most empowering facets of the show is seeing women of all ages and life histories joining together for the common cause of ending the silence, bringing awareness, and creating communities of women in Boston.”
What happens when these women join on stage is an impactful experience for the audience. While the production of The Vagina Monologues enlightens the audience with stories from positive sexual experiences to drastic rapes it remains a movement, a fundraiser and a starting point.
The Boston Community Production of The Vagina Monologues was not limited to the weekend show. On February 14th the cast, alongside SquashBusters and MassNOW participated in One Billion Rising, a global call to action raising awareness on the fact that ONE BILLION Women on the planet will experience abuse or violence in her lifetime. Ten cast members told their stories in Boston GLOW’s “Why I Rise” blog series. Additionally, the cast invited over 30 teen leaders to watch the performance free of charge and participate in a talk back after the performance lead by our dynamic cast.
It has been said that V-Day is a “wild, unstoppable movement” and we are pleased to say the here in Boston, the movement is strong and heading forward!
For more information on The Vagina Monologues, V-day and the movement to end violence against women and girls, check out www.vday.org. To learn more about the Boston Community Production of The Vagina Monologues and how to get involved, contact Tashia Graham, Boston GLOW Organizer at firstname.lastname@example.org.