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“The Vagina Monologues” To Be Presented Feb. 13-15

BOONE–To bring attention to violence against women around the world, the award-winning play “The Vagina Monologues” will be presented at Appalachian State University Feb. 13, 14 and 15, at 8 p.m. in the Blue Ridge Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union.

By hosting the play, Appalachian joins more than 500 colleges and universities worldwide in support of V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women. All proceeds from the local performance benefit OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Shelter, Information and Service), the Watauga County Sexual Assault Response Team, and international women’s relief agencies.

The production also will benefit women in Afghanistan, a cause playwright Eve Ensler has drawn attention to since 2000.

Ensler wrote “The Vagina Monologues” as a collection of women’s testimonials about their bodies based on real people she interviewed around the world.

It was published as a best-selling book and filmed for HBO.

Ensler won a 1997 OBIE award, an off-Broadway award given by the Village Voice in New York, for writing “The Vagina Monologues.”

It was then nominated for the Drama Desk and Helen Hayes awards.

Ensler received the Guggenheim Fellowship in Playwriting in 1999.

“We can think of no better way to support the global movement to end violence against women and girls,” Dr. Betsy Beaulieu, director of Appalachian’s Women’s Studies Program, says about the production. “Our cast of women will powerfully dramatize the message that, from Boone to Kabul, violence against women must stop.”

The presentation is sponsored by the Appalachian’s Women’s Studies Program, Counseling and Psychological Services Center, Department of Theatre and Dance, National Organization for Women chapter (NOW), and the Women’s Center.

A panel discussion follows each performance with representatives from OASIS, the counseling center, and the production’s director and cast.

“The Vagina Monologues” is directed by Dena Light. Jason Adams is assistant director and stage manager. The cast includes students, faculty and community members. They are Jen Allman, Morgan Andrews, Christy Blankenship, April Easter, Ann Hamilton, Jessica Kaufman, Lara Marshall, Mary-Louise Price, Suzanne Savell, Leah Schweitzer, Nancy Sokolove and Marsha Sweeney.

“This production demonstrates Appalachian’s interest in educating the community in women’s experiences both locally and around the world,” said Suzette Patterson of OASIS.

“We are thrilled to see ‘The Vagina Monologues’ come to Watauga County.”

According to V-Day sponsors, somewhere in America a woman is battered every 15 seconds. Women ages 16-24 run a greater risk of being raped than any other population group and are most likely to experience an assault during their first two months of college. Violent acts against women that cause physical harm are more likely to be perpetrated by someone they know than by a stranger.

“The Vagina Monologues” contains adult material and sexual language that some people may find offensive.

Advanced ticket purchases are suggested. Tickets are available at Farthing Auditorium box office at 262-4046, and the Appalachian Women’s Center located inside Plemmons Student Union. Cost is $12 for general admission and $8 for students.

Group discount tickets for 10 or more people are available for $11 general admission and $7 students.