On the day before Valentine’s Day, a growing international tradition comes to Northwest Philly with V-Day Mt. Airy’s presentation of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.
Ensler’s play, first published in 1996, is based on over 200 interviews with girls and women of all ages from around the world. It has become the pillar of a worldwide movement to combat violence against girls and women, and each year in February, any fees for rights to the play are waived for any group who wants to mount the show. These “V-Day” performances donate proceeds to grassroots organizations fighting for women’s rights and safety.
V-Day Mt. Airy is bringing the show to the Sedgwick Theater on February 13. It’ll feature several first-time actors alongside Philly stage veterans like Joilet Harris, Grace Gonglewski, E. Ashley Izard, and Janis Dardaris. Ebony Pullum and Bethany Asplundh are teaming to produce and direct the show, which also welcomes several performers from the transgender community.
This year’s V-Day performances and events are spotlighting violence against women in the workplace. This happens every day, in every country, across socio-economic levels, says V-Day Mt. Airy, whether the worker is an executive, a restaurant server, a teacher, a nurse or doctor, an actor, or in any other profession.
“An additional layer of exploitation is that, in many cases, women facing workplace violence are vulnerable and impeded from speaking out or seeking justice for fear of losing their job,” against a larger global backdrop that denies many women a fair wage in the first place.
The Sedgwick Theater event will include four local women’s original testimonies “addressing the reality of violence in the workplace,” in addition to an hour-long spoken word and music showcase before the performance. There will also be a special installation of locals’ visual art curated by InLiquid founder Rachel Zimmerman.
The evening will conclude with light refreshments and a post-show gathering for artists and audience members to discuss what moved them about the performance, for solidarity, support, and action in “turbulent times.”
The Vagina Monologues is coming up at 7pm on Monday, February 13 (pre-show art, poetry, and music starts at 6pm) at the Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. Tickets ($10-$50) are available online, and advance purchase is recommended.