Annual ‘Vagina Monologues’ readings raise funds and awareness

Benefit performances of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" will be presented at the Woodlawn Theater on February 17 and 18. (Poster: rapecrisis.com)

The Rape Crisis Center, in partnership with P.E.A.C.E. Initiative and the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter, will present their ninth annual staged readings of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.”

Organizers of the San Antonio production emphasize it is being staged to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the organizations involved. All the actresses are community members.

In 1998, Ensler and others launched a global non-profit movement that has raised over $75 million for women’s anti-violence groups through benefit presentations of the play. Productions staged by volunteer activists around the U.S. and the world have educated millions.

In “The Vagina Monologues,” the actresses read monologues which deal with different aspects of the feminine experience. The play premiered in 1996 Off-Broadway at New York City’s Westside Theater. It is based on interviews Ensler conducted with 200 women who discussed their views on sex, relationships and domestic violence.

In an interview with Random House, Ensler explains, “Women’s empowerment is deeply connected to their sexuality. I’m obsessed with women being violated and raped, and with incest. All of these things are deeply connected to our vaginas.”

The San Antonio readings will be performed on Wednesday, February 17 (in Spanish) and Thursday, February 18 (in English) at the Woodlawn Theater.

Cast members for the two readings are: Selena Navarro, Michi Fink, Julie Marin, Yvonne Reyes Rocha, Stacey Schwab, Colette Schrader, Suzy Bianchi-Barrett, Julie Harris, Skye Daniels, Vicki Wimberly Martin, Erin Polewski, Brittany Chozinski, Ja’Lise T. Ling-Vance, Mariana Vasquez, Megan Van Dyke, Janie Cauceda, Denise Moore, Margaret Gouge, Michelle Mata, Tina Gonzales, Cindy Martinez, Lisa Valle, Ramona Villarreal, Linda Brandmiller, Betty Torres, Stephanie Hicks, Allie Perez, Ethel Magana-Lopez, Kelly Petlin, Nora Maoui, Laurie Dietrich, Mellissa Marlowe, Pamela Kenny, Rosa Cabezas-Gil, Rosie Gonzalez, Mariel Gastelum, and Leticia Medina.

The Rape Crisis Center, P.E.A.C.E. Initiative and the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter present “The Vagina Monologues” Wednesday, February 17 (in Spanish) and Thursday, February 18 (in English), at 7 p.m. the Woodlawn Theater, 1920 Fredericksburg Rd. Tickets are $15 each or two for $25 and are available online at this link. They can also be purchased at the door each evening, cash or check only.

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