Preview- The Vagina Monologues- VDAY


By: Thomas Chan
“When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet.”- Eve Ensler
Each year women around the world present this piece to celebrate women, and to bring attention to plight of the many women around the world who are abused, and misused. Why spend 1,000+ dollars on a fancy meal when you can spend less and do something good with your time?  
Hailed by The New York Times as "funny" and "poignant" and by the Daily News as "intelligent" and "courageous", The Vagina Monologues, which was first performed off-Broadway by Ms. Ensler, dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences. It was based on actual interviews with women as part of Ms. Ensler's Masters studies. The stories cover everything from rape, genital mutilation, sexual awakening, orgasms, love, heartbreak and the anatomy of the vagina. 

This is Hong Kong's 7th annual charity performance. Meaghan McGurgan has been helping the performances each year as a producer. "Every year is different. We pick a different organization to support and location to perform in. It's really interesting to see how each performance is so unique. That's why we continue to have audience return every year. They enjoy seeing the changes in the script and the interpretations the cast makes." 
This year's cast includes over 20 different women and is directed by Lizzi Wood-Vashishtha. "I think we avoid talking about 'intimate subjects' too much. As a consequence we become insecure of our experiences, unsure of our bodies and afraid to talk if we want or need to. The Vagina Monologues is an expressive mix of comedy, sadness, desire, realisation, discovery and much more - who wouldn't want to be involved in that?!" The diverse cast is working hard to make the play a meaningful and entertaining experience for the audience. One of the well-known performers is Monica Johnston. You might have seen her playing with the local classical trio, Western District. "I saw The Vagina Monologues the first time when I was in Uni. I was totally uncomfortable, but at the same time very moved. Some of the monologues really stuck with me. I came to see the performance in HK last year, and when I heard a call for performers, I knew I couldn't pass up this chance!"
VDAY is a global activist 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 and other artistic works. The VDAY movement has raised over $120 million; educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it; crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns; reopened shelters; and funded over 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs around the world. 100% of the proceeds from this year's show will go to Helpers for Domestic Helpers
Over the past past 25 years, HDH has helped over 25,000 foreign domestic workers seek justice and safety due to the working environments. They provide them with legal council, child care and living facilities to escape abusive households. "Anything that raises the profile of the issue and encourages better behaviour by all concerned has to be useful," says Marina Milner one the performers of VDAY. It's true. All efforts in art should be applauded, whether they're considered successful by traditional monetary standards or not. There's such negativity in the world, it's nice to see a performance working for a positive message and a great cause! To add to the positivity local business, Little Things For Good, will be onsite selling their wares, which help provide sanitary supplies and support for women in need.
The Vagina Monologues will be performed on February 12th and 14th at 7:30pm at Orange Peel in LKF. The address is 38-44 D'Aguilar St, Central. Pre-sale tickets are for sale online at 200HKD and at the door for 250HKD. All tickets include a drink. Due to high volume of sales of previous shows, the producers are highly suggesting that you book ahead for the performance. Tickets are available now at Eventbrite.
I leave you with an inspiring message from Monica. I was touched by her thoughts on performing this piece and hope that she and the other ladies of VDAY have a wonderful experience on stage. I really couldn't express myself any better than she did. 

"I hope the women of the audience know that your experiences are your own. That they're not shameful or weird. That they are part of who we are. I hope the men in the audience are aware of the discomfort we often feel, and that they take away an understanding that not all women experience the same thing. I hope that everyone takes away from this the understanding and willingness to talk about it. What is IT? Our vagina, our life, our love, our past, our present, our future, our body, our identity." 
For more information about VDAY,  click here.


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